At a time, when the West Bengal government and the State Election Commission have started making full-fledged preparation for the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) election in the hills of Darjeeling in north Bengal by June this year, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supremo Bimal Gurung has written a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, asking her to postpone the GTA polls till the time a permanent political situation in the hills is achieved.
In the letter, Gurung stressed that a bipartite discussion on this count is absolutely necessary to find out ways for that permanent political solution.
Following this letter, apprehensions have started on whether the hills will be heading for another round of turmoil in the future.
An expert in affairs of North Bengal and northeastern India, and writer of the book, “The Buddha and the Borders”, Nirmalya Banerjee said that although Gurung’s letter has only mentioned of the scheduled tribe status for the 11 Gorkha sects, but that is not the only component of the permanent political solution.
So, according to him, no one can guarantee that in the next stage the demand for separate Gorkhaland state will not crop up.
According to him, although both GJM and Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) are against GTA elections, there is a basic difference in the approach of these tow hill forces.
GNLF, which is an ally of BJP in the hills, are outright against GTA.
“However, GJM wants GTA to remain but its elections should be held after the permanent political solution is achieved. Now again the question arises on what is exactly the permanent political solution. Gurung’s letter on this count has this grey area,” he said.