Darjeeling oppn trio forms ‘Gorkha Swabhiman Manch’ to resurrect Gorkhaland demand

A new platform ‘Gorkha Swabhiman Manch’ has been formed for the resurrection of the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state in the hills by the opposition trio, namely Hamro Party’s Ajay Edwards, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM)’s Bimal Gurung and influential hill leader Binoy Tamang.

Tamang recently severed ties with the Trinamool Congress.

All the three leaders directly or indirectly admitted that although the immediate purpose of setting up this new platform is to oppose the Anit Thapa-led Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) and Trinamool Congress alliance, the larger and long-run target is to resurrect the separate Gorkhaland statehood demand.

The most upfront on this issue is GJM chief Bimal Gurung, who said that for the sake of the Gorkha community’s interest the separate Gorkhaland statehood is necessary.

“We will be starting fresh agitation over this demand. However, our movement will be peaceful and democratic and the protesters will not resort to any sort of violence,” he said.

The Hamro Party founder and chief, Ajay Edwards said that the pattern of movement on the Gorkhaland issue will be intellectual in nature. “We have to be vocal in our demands for the sake of the hills and people of the hills,” he said.

Binoy Tamang said the new platform has been formed to protect the self-interest of the Gorkha Community. “All we want is that the people of the community live with self- respect and for that purpose there will be a united movement on the issue,” he said.

However, BGPM chief Anit Thapa does not want to give much importance to the new platform. “Their only target is to malign us. They do not have any specific political programme,” Thapa claimed.

According to an expert in north Bengal and northeastern Indian politics, Nirmlaya Banerjee this was inevitable since the permanent political solution for the hills as perceived by the opposition trio is not complete without the inclusion of the separate Gorkhaland state issue.

“So, the development on this count was inevitable. At the same time the newly forged Gurung- Tamang- Edwards unity was also inevitable to take to the BGPM- Trinamool Congress alliance since all the three fractions of the opposition trio understand it very well that individually they will not be able to stand anywhere,” he said.

20230116-111202

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