Morcha questions CM state power

The Telegraph

Darjeeling, Feb. 21: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today reminded Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee that his political life is going to end “within weeks”, dismissing with derision the chief minister’s rejection of Gorkhaland and questioning his power to do so.

“As far as we are concerned, what Bhattacharjee has said is a non-issue. The statement has come from a person whose political life is going to end within weeks,” said Morcha spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri. “Once the Election Commission declares the Assembly poll schedule, he will not be able to take decisions any more. Going by the indications, we are pretty sure that he won’t be around for long.”

The chief minister had yesterday dismissed the Morcha’s Gorkhaland demand as illogical, questioned the sanity of those seeking to widen their territorial reach and ruled out talks until the statehood movement was withdrawn. “Unless they (Morcha) withdraw the movement, we will not hold any discussion with them. We have informed the Centre about our stand,” Bhattacharjee had said, adding that the state and the Centre were averse to the idea of dividing Bengal.

Today, Chhetri said only Parliament “is authorised to decide whether a new state should be formed or not”. He said the state government had “no role” in granting statehood.

He said the chief minister was neglecting Darjeeling. “All his announcements and promises (during his two-day trip to north Bengal) were related to the plains and had nothing to do with Darjeeling. For the chief minister, Bengal starts from Calcutta and ends somewhere near Siliguri,” the Morcha spokesperson said.

The hill party said it would not withdraw its demand for the inclusion of Gorkha-dominated areas of the Dooars and the Terai in the proposed Gorkhaland.

Yesterday, the chief minister had warned the Morcha against creating unrest in the two regions and Siliguri.

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www.kalimpong.info

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