Darjeeling, July 5, 2017: A day ahead of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GLMCC) meeting, the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) held a massive rally in Darjeeling on Wednesday declaring 6th Schedule as "expiry medicine" and batted for Gorkhaland.
The day also saw key Trinamool Congress leaders resigning from the party in the Hills.
The GNLF rally comes on the heels of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha alleging that the West Bengal Government and the GNLF are conspiring to accord the 6th Schedule status to the Darjeeling Hills. The GJM had asked the GNLF to make their stand clear before the GLMCC meeting slated for July 6.
GNLF President Mann Ghising addressed the GNLF rally at the Clubside in Darjeeling.
"6th Schedule status is medicine that has expired. If you consume it you will get sick. GNLF has discarded the 6th Schedule demand. We have come out for Gorkhaland and it is a point of no return. We will not compromise for any other arrangement nor will we allow any compromise of the Gorkhaland issue," declared Ghising.
Seeking immediate intervention of the Central Government in the ongoing Darjeeling impasse, Ghising warned, "Already 21 days of band, have passed; the Hills are burning; Agitators are dying, yet the Centre is silent. The Centre should not ignore the Darjeeling issue. Darjeeling is like a volcano. It can erupt any moment."
Ghising stated that the GLMCC (a conglomeration of pro Gorkhaland forces for a joint movement for Gorkhaland) should not linger matters. "Form a core committee and depart for Delhi immediately. Meet the Government of India and hold dialogues for Gorkhaland" was Ghising's suggestion to the GLMCC. Without naming the GJM, Ghising stated that a single party meeting the Union Government would not yield the desired results.
Ghising stated that it is time to rise above petty politics for Gorkhaland. "People have come out for Gorkhaland. They will not forgive any party or leader if the Gorkhaland demand is compromised" added Ghising.
Regarding the ongoing indefinite bandh since June 15, Ghising stated "The party that has called the bandh has to decide on it. However nothing much is happening. Nothing is moving. The deadlock continues with the Centre looking away."
"Don't doubt our sincerity. We have come out for Gorkhaland. Everyday thousands of people are pledging support to the GNLF" claimed Ghising.
Key TMC hill leaders including Hill TMC Working President NB Khawas and Hill TMC Vice President Karishma Giri resigned from the party on Wednesday. "I have resigned in support of the people's movement for Gorkhaland" stated Khawas. When questioned on whether he would join any other pro-Gorkhaland party, Khawas stated "I have not decided yet."
However talk doing the rounds in the Hills is that Khawas could return to the GNLF fold. Incidentally Khawas had started his political career with the GNLF. With the GJM seizing power from the GNLF and ousting GNLF leaders from the Hills, Khawas after lying low for a long period had joined the TMC.
The GLMCC will be meeting in Pedong, 22km from Kalimpong town on Thursday at noon.