Ghising quits Darjeeling Gorkha Council

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Kolkata, Mar 10 : Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) leader Subhash Ghising resigned today as the caretaker administrator and chairman of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).

Ghising submitted his resignation to Darjeeling District Magistrate, Rajesh Sharma in Siliguri.

Ghising's resignation is a fallout of protests by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), a rebel group, that considered Ghising its principal political adversary.

The GJM had launched an economic blockade and started a fast-unto-death programme in the Hills on February 20, demanding the immediate removal of Ghising from the post and the scrapping of the move to grant Sixth Schedule status to the region.

A high-powered Parliamentary panel had then advised the Centre to review the proposed inclusion of the area under the Sixth Schedule.

Later, the West Bengal Government accepted the demands of the GJM activists in this regard.

The GJMM sponsored shutdown and hunger strike was withdrawn on February 29 following Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's intervention.

Earlier, the GJM had set a March 10 deadline for Ghising's resignation.

In a bid to stem the revolt against him, Ghising had renewed the demand for creation of a separate Gorkhaland state.

Last week a delegation of senior GNLF leaders led by Ghising went on to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and pressed for continuing dialogues on the statehood issue between the Centre and parties.

The GNLF leadership has also dropped their demand for the grant of Sixth Schedule status to the Darjeeling hills that Ghising has been pursuing since 2005.

Articles 244(II) and 275(I) of the Indian Constitution have made provisions 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.

The GJM is also demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of the Darjeeling Hills and certain areas contiguous to it.

ANI

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