Kolkata, Feb 23: Subash Ghising, the leader of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and administrator of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) is scheduled to meet West Bengal Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee here today.
Ghising was confined to Pintail Village, a resort three km from Siliguri, for the last five days since Monday by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) activists. Meanwhile, veteran CPI (M) leader Jyoti Basu, who has announced plans of wanting to quit from the CPI-M Politburo, has said Ghising is finding himself increasingly in a difficult situation as many of his former supporters have deserted him.
"Bhattacharjee was monitoring the situation in Darjeeling and holding talks with the Centre to press for the speedy passage in Parliament of the two amendment Bills aimed at granting Sixth Schedule status to the region", Basu added.
However, GJM chief, Bimal Gurung said, the GNLF chief had fled the hills in the face of a rising and popular agitation. "Our supporters will not spare him, and soon the morcha will have its supporters, holding demonstrations at the Gorkha Bhavan in Kolkata where he has taken refuge," he said. eanwhile, an indefinite shutdown call has been given by the GJM leadership in the hills, demanding the immediate removal of Ghising from the post and the scrapping of the move to grant Sixth Schedule status to the region, has entered its fourth day. The Morcha allowed some relaxation today between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Articles 244(II) and 275(I) of the Indian Constitution have provisioned for a Sixth Schedule status. The Articles state that if various indigenous groups live in a district or area, then they can be granted the Sixth Schedule status leading to its autonomy.
If the Sixth Schedule status is imposed here then all people living here will become indigenous," claims the GJM.
The GJM is also demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of the Darjeeling Hills and certain areas contiguous to it.he GNLF first launched an agitation for a separate state in 1980, but dropped the demand for Sixth Schedule status after New Delhi agreed to confer partial autonomy in 1988 for Nepalese-speaking people.
An agreement was signed between the Central Government, the West Bengal Government and the GNLF, paving the way for an Autonomous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (ADGHC) in 1988.
The West Bengal Government has been resisting demands for a separate state for the Gorkhas.