Showing posts with label Trinamool Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trinamool Congress. Show all posts

GNLF TO SUPPORT TMC IN DOOARS FOR PANCHAYAT ELECTION

11:12 AM

Like GJM , GNLF too decided to support TMC at the upcoming Panchayat election in Dooars.After 21 days of GJM announcement to support TMC from Bagrakot.  GNLF too announced their support to TMC from Bagrakot yesterday.

Later GNLF president Mann Ghisingh, General Secretary Mahendra Chettri along with TMC leader Saurav Chakraborty , Mohan Sharma , MLA Buluchik Baraik held a joint press conference at Mal bazar. Speaking with the press Mahendra Chettri said GNLF keeping positive thought  has come forward to support TMC at the upcoming Panchayat election.

Chettri further said we have come to Dooars to keep our stand clear that at the upcoming Panchayat election GNLF will support TMC at Dooars. Chettri also claimed that they have a good support of gorkhas residing at Alipurduwar and Jalpaiguri district

Via C24

Trinamul invokes Hindi to score a point against GJM

10:58 AM

Trinamul invokes Hindi to score a point - Ruling party counters Morcha decision to allow billboards only in Nepali and English

Writes: Vivek Chettri

Darjeeling, June 11: The Trinamul Congress has decided to counter the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's decision to allow billboards only in English and Nepali in the hills and ignore Hindi.

"We have decided to take on the Morcha's decision not to allow billboards in Hindi too. Hindi is our national language and as the nation comes first, we will take this issue with the Prime Minister," said Binny Sharma, Trinamul's spokesperson in the hills.

Sources in Trinamul said the decision to rake up the Hindi issue was an attempt to not only counter the Morcha but also its ally, the BJP.

"The Morcha is an ally of the BJP but by raising an issue close to its electoral constituency, the Trinamul Congress is trying to corner the Morcha and put the BJP on the backfoot in the rest of Bengal," said a political observer

The Morcha's announcement, the sources said, was to counter Mamata Banerjee's alleged decision to make Bengali compulsory in schools despite the chief minister's assurance that the language would be made optional in the hills.

The government decision had given the Morcha an opportunity to revive the Gorkhaland demand, observers said.

Sharma said: "We know that the Morcha is a junior partner of the NDA but we also want to know from the BJP leadership on the stand over the Morcha's decision not to allow Hindi billboards in the region. We believe this is a threat to the Hindi-speaking people of the region. We will take up this issue at the highest level."

Asked about the alleged decision to make Bengali compulsory at schools, Sharma said: "The Morcha just speaks lies. The chief minister has clarified and moreover, there is no government order on Bengali being made compulsory in the hills."

Trinamul insiders in Siliguri today said the state leadership had instructed the hill unit to act in a "sublime and effective manner", unlike the state administration that was all set to act firmly against the Morcha from tomorrow.

"We have been specifically instructed to abstain from any move that can create an opportunity for the Morcha to perpetrate violence," said a Trinamul leader.

Via: Telegraph
Pic: Screen Shot of tweet from Republic

Pushed to corner, Morcha hits out

7:38 AM

Writes : Vivek Chhetri and Avijit Sinha

Darjeeling, June 8: The turmoil in the hills today is being seen as an outburst of a pent-up anger of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha cadres and their apparent apprehension about the party's performance in the GTA elections in the wake of Trinamul gaining a toehold in the region, political observers have said.

Trinamul has made recent inroads into the hills by winning the Mirik civic seat and has managed a section of people on its side by forming 15 development boards for communities. The Trinamul-led government has also been pushing forward its development agenda - upgrading Kalimpong into a district and Mirik into a sub-division.

Although the government's decision to make Bengali compulsory in schools had stirred the hill sentiments to the Morcha's advantage, Mamata Banerjee had blunted that too to some extent by announcing that the language would be made optional.

A political observer pointed out that the state government's sustained campaign to push the Morcha to the wall was being felt not only by the senior leaders but also its cadres and the party was desperate to make its presence felt.

"For the past few days, the chief minister and her government have time and again deflated any Morcha agitation. In fact, after she declared that Bengali will not be compulsory in the hills, questions were raised on the justification of the Morcha's calls for strikes and agitations. The hill party was desperate to consolidate its support base by playing the Gorkhaland card and by fuming at the state again. This led to today's outburst," the observer said.

Trinamul leaders in the hills iterated that the Morcha's anger was the result of the ruling party's attempts to corner it.

"We could sense that there were instigations over the past few days and today, the party indulged in violence. This is because they have no political issue to counter Trinamul as we are solely working on the agenda of development and gaining support everyday," said Binny Sharma, a spokesperson of Darjeeling district Trinamul.

He alleged that the violence today was a "planned move".

"The chief minister has been consistently coming to the hills and announcing projects every time. It is because of this agenda of development that we won the Mirik municipality and secured seats in three other civic bodies of the hills. Now that the GTA elections are ahead, Morcha leaders and cadres are worried if they can win a majority of the seats this time. It is more so because in the past five years, the GTA has failed miserably in meeting the aspirations of the hill people," he added.

Morcha chief Bimal Gurung had yesterday accused Mamata of dividing the Gorkha community.

"You come here so many times and every time you come, you wipe the smile out of people's face. But you keep saying that the hills are smiling. You are dividing our community into bits and pieces. Your intentions are not good for the hills," he had said.

"Trinamul will collapse in two minutes if they don't have the police on their side," he added.

Another Trinamul leader alleged that the Morcha was trying to divert the people's attention from the promises made by its ally BJP over Gorkhaland before it came to power at the Centre.

"Since 2014, when the NDA government came to power with the assurance that it would sympathetically consider the demand of Gorkhaland, there hasn't been an inch of progress. Only some more assurances have flown in from the Centre. Some other hill parties had become vocal against the Morcha for clinching to the GTA and not doing anything on the statehood issue," said Rajen Mukhia, the president of the Darjeeling district Trinamul.

Morcha ally BJP attacked Mamata over the unrest and her decision to call the army.

"She has been going to the hills every month. We keep hearing that the hills are smiling. If it is so, why does she need to call the army?" asked BJP state president Dilip Ghosh.

(Telegraph)

TMC Demands Expediting Madan Tamang Murder Case Trial

2:54 PM

The Trinmool Congress yesterday organized a rally and demanded that the ongoing trial relating to Madan Tamang murder case be expedited. In addition, the TMC pasted posters across Darjeeling towns and question the delay by CBI in concluding the investigation and the delay in trial.

Speaking to the Press, TMC leader Ms. Sharada Subba said, "even after so many years have passed, those who murdered Gorkha leader Madan Tamang are roaming free and justice is yet to be delivered... so even though the matter is sub-judice we have been forced to comment."

When asked to comment on the timing of the demand for arresting Madan Tamang murder case being raised as protest over Language issue is intensifying, TMC working President NB Khawas said, "these are two separate issues, we will protest the delay in justice for the family of Late. Madan Tamang and we will continue this protest as long as justice is not delivered."

Why has the demand for Gorkhaland returned to Darjeeling?

9:52 AM
Why has the demand for Gorkhaland returned to Darjeeling?

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal

The demand for a seperate Gorkha state is an issue that since its first origins in the 1970s has dictated politics in the hills.

September 28, 2016  In 2009, Mamata Banerjee’s proximity to Bimal Gurung was a cause of great concern for the Left. At the time, Gurung-led GJM had perfected the bandh-boycott movement in their Gorkhaland movement – indefinite shutdowns, boycotting government taxes, telephone, electricity bills, blocking national highways to paralysing panchayats. As a 12-hour bandh returns to Darjeeling, it is apparent that while a lot has changed since 2009 – some things haven’t.

Prime among them is the sheer fervor of the Gorkhaland demand – a fervor that Bimal Gurung, now on the back foot hopes will provide him enough ammo to combat friend-turned-foe Mamata Banerjee as she continues her tactic of dividing the hills, combining development with the creation of different boards. Meanwhile, Darjeeling waits, anxiously.
demand for Gorkhaland
Demand for Gorkhaland a file Photo

Bimal Gurung and Gorkhaland, today
On the face of it, the 2016 Assembly elections were a victory for Bimal Gurung. But the party’s performance – particularly in Kalimpong, which had historically been Gurung’s political backyard – have left the party worried. Even more worrying is the string of senior party leaders fleeing ship and joining the Trinamool Congress, including GTA chairman Pradeep Pradhan, joining the TMC. Unsurprisingly Gurung relaunched the Gorkhaland demand, while simultaneously filing a plea in the Supreme Court challenging the West Bengal government’s refusal to transfer administrative power and various subjects to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, in spite of a tripartite agreement that was reached within the state and union governments in 2011.

Gurung’s dominance of politics in Darjeeling began in 2007, with him emerging as the voice for the demand for a seperate Gorkha state, the issue that since its first origins in the 1970s has dictated politics in the hills. The movement had seen its most violent phase between 1986-88 when Subhash Ghishing’s Gorkha National Liberation Front lead the movement, until his lieutenant Gurung began his own party with the GJM in 2007. Journalist and long time observer Romit Bagchi, in his book, “Gorkhaland: Crisis of Statehood” points out that the “singular quality” that allowed Gurung to replace Ghising’s leadership was “his invincible loyalty to the paramount cause of the community” – the demand for statehood. Writing in 2009, Bagchi predicts that “people would not accept a mellowed Bimal Gurung who speaks the voice of reason and restraint”.

His opposition believes that Gurung’s popularity has been waning, with many believing that he fell into the very trap of “reason and restraint” while joining hands with the Trinamool. Now, Gurung knows that he’s cornered by Trinamool Congress – who has begun a tactic of ‘divide and rule’ – that has left him virtually alone. His decision to relaunch the Gorkhaland protest – with bandhs and boycoots – is not just a case of ensuring political relevance, but also a return to the form of politics that he is most familiar with.

Mamata Banerjee’s tactics
Meanwhile Mamata Banerjee’s politics, of divide-and-rule combined with the unwavering rhetoric of development (which the opposition alleges is just that, rhetoric) has allowed her to make inroads into the hills. On October 2009, Mamata Banerjee – the then rail minister – flagged off the long awaited New Jalpaiguri-Digha Weekly Express and said that the railway link between Darjeeling hills and the sea would usher in a “new era” with “enormous possibilities” and “fresh employment opportunities”. In the past six years, none of this has changed. In her last speech in Kalimpong, Banerjee announced the government’s decision to accord Kalimpong seperate district status, a longstanding demand of the area while once again launching into a speech laden with the rhetoric of development. A slew of new announcements and projects, along with the customary call for “peace” – Banerjee’s politics seems unchanged.

But in the run up to the 2016 elections, Banerjee started announcing the creation of development boards for different communities living in Darjeeling – the Lepcha Development Board and the Tamang Development Board. This apart from the GTA which is responsible for governing the whole of Darjeeling district. While the Gorkhas remain the dominant community here, the Lepchas, Limpus, Tamangs, Bhutias, Rais, Dukpas, Sherpas, and Tibetans also form a sizeable population. In the speech at Kalimpong, Banerjee announced, “More boards will be announced”

Via indianexpress

BOOMERANG: It wasn’t support for GJM… It was anger against TMC that made the strike a success

8:49 AM
Writes: Upendra for TheDC

The strike in Darjeeling, held two days ago has been termed ‘a success’ by GJM, while TMC has called it an ‘absolute failure.’ What is funny is that almost all the Bengal based news media, other than the ones based in North Bengal, have toed the official line and reported that the strike was ‘unsuccessful.’ Surprised readers who were in Darjeeling watching the events unfold on the ground, were shocked to note how Bengali news channels were saying the vehicles are running smoothly, shops are open and life is going on as normal. A few of them even wrote to us, complaining about how Bengali channels were distorting the facts.

To be honest we have seen all of this happen over and over again. From 1986 to 2016, newspapers and media in Bengal have always been biased against the Gorkhaland issue. This is why TheDC was formed in November of 2013 to provide factual news from the hills, without any embellishments, addendums or modifications. Because we had come to realize that what is happening on the ground in Darjeeling, is not getting reported in the media, where as modified news, often misleading were being peddled as the truth.

Here is an example, “WILL GUNS BOOM IN BENGAL'S HILLS?” reads the headline from Aug 2013 when the Gorkhaland agitation was at its peak , in Times of India [Details: http://bit.ly/1qNAMAa]. If you read the article, you will see how they paint a picture of Darjeeling almost getting ready for an Armageddon, without any substance to prove their assertions, or use of named sources, they paint a picture of armed revolution about to unfold in Darjeeling hills. While most of the people in Darjeeling may scoff at the reporting, those from elsewhere in India who are unaware of the ground realities will naturally assume it’s the truth. This is how media in Bengal has manipulated the Gorkhaland agitation to paint a picture of our demand being that of ‘separatism from India, being funded by Nepal, Pakistan and China’ [Details: http://bit.ly/2cPcTKY].

So TMC claimed the strike was not successful on the 28th, and yesterday they took out a ‘Thank You’ rally to thank the people in the hills for opposing the ‘bandh.’ While hill people may have found it delusional, it serves a purpose. These rallies and events are not meant to thank the hill people, they are done to let Mamata and rest of Bengal know, whatever was reported in Kolkata based media on the 28th was true, and that the strikes were indeed unsuccessful.

But even the TMC leaders know in the hearts of their hearts that the hill people overwhelmingly supported the strike, and contrary to popular belief that it was done out of fear of the GJM, I believe it was done to let Mamata and Bengal know their diktats were not welcome in the hills.

In an unprecedented move, the Bengal government went all out to thwart the proposed strike. They imposed draconian diktats - like circulars were issued requiring every government servant to attend their office, failing which they will be show caused and anyone missing work due to strike would have 3 days pay cut. They required schools and colleges to remain open, threatened business, restaurants, hotels and taxis of cancellation of licenses and permits. In Mungpoo, TMC cadres did extensive miking telling the cinchona workers that if they don’t show up for work, they may lose their jobs in the near future. Such threats were issued all over the Darjeeling hills.

As if that was not enough, numerous platoons of Central Reserve forces and state police were brought down to ensure ‘law and order’ in the hills, and to top it all Bengal government sent 3 Ministers to monitor the strike and to ensure that the Bandh is not imposed.

In doing so they must have assumed that people do actually want to side with Bengal, but are not doing so due to fear of GJM. However, that is where Bengal overplayed their hand. They underestimated the ‘GORKHA’ factor.

We – the Gorkhas are a very simple group of people, if we love someone we will willingly die for them, but when someone tries to impose their will upon us, we tend to take a stand against it, no matter whatever are the consequences.

Despite 3 ministers, 10 development boards, entire district administration, massive deployment of security forces, entire TMC cadres from the hills + hired goons from the plains being present, fact remains that they couldn't keep Darjeeling hills open.

Ministers were seen banging on the doors and shutters of shut down shops forcing them to open... on the 28th, TMC completely lost the plot. While GJM announced the strike, they didn't impose it... whereas Bengal government used district administration and held meetings with hoteliers, travel agents, drivers associations, and shop keepers requiring them to keep their businesses open, but despite all their threats and cajoling when all their efforts failed and people supported the strike, they started to bang on the doors and shutters demanding opening of the businesses... Yet, they didn’t succeed.

Nothing is more telling than the picture shared below. Its from Kalimpong... generally this place is so crowded that there is not even enough room to stand... and on the 28th, not just the shops were closed, even the people chose not come out of their homes.

Without any prejudice, I feel that it was very unbecoming of the Ministers to go around forcing people to open their shops. It’s one thing to assure people of law and order helping them if required to keep their businesses open, but quite another to go around asking people to open shops, not with police but with party workers. The lines between a Minister of the Govt of Bengal and TMC party cadre was completely blurred in the hills on the 28th, and I am confident that the Hon’ble Ministers acted as party cadres instead of Government servants that day.

In bringing down a large contingent of security forces, in requiring schools to remain open, in banging on the doors and shutters of businesses and demanding that they remain open, Trinmool Congress and by extension the Bengal government were jeopardizing the lives of the people in the hills.

What if major clashes had broken out between bandh supporters and those opposing the bandh right at the time schools got off? Had school going children been caught in the cross-fire and injured, who would have been responsible? If shops and businesses were burned down and vandalized, would the Bengal government have compensated? If violence broke out, who would have been responsible?

In order to prove their might, the Bengal government crossed that sacred line which makes every government responsible for the safety, security and well-being of its citizens, and that is what boomeranged on them. The hill people decided to rebel and shut down their shops, businesses, vehicles and hotels.

Had TMC been a little more pragmatic, they could have let the bandh happen, as that would have put the hill people against GJM. People would have wanted to know, why they should shut down to justify GTA funds misuse allegations. But TMC being what it is, they took the bait and issued draconian orders.

The draconian measures undertaken by TMC party using West Bengal government administrative mechanisms to thwart the strike on September 28th, 2016 was seen as a trailer of how dictatorial it is going to get for Darjeeling and its people, if we choose not to adhere to their diktat. With less than 15% support in the hills, today TMC is already going dictatorial, imagine what will happen if their support reaches 20% or 30%?

This high handedness by TMC sent a direct message to the hill people, toe our line or we will make you do so.

Till TMC overdrive to ensure Bandh doesn’t happen, the hill people were against GJM, but the moment TMC decided to issue diktats, it became a matter of US vs Bengal, and that is where TMC lost the plot. People who don’t like GJM, decided to support the bandh, because they all felt that allowing Bengal to run its writ in Darjeeling would ruin our autonomy, and the latent desire for self-governance through Gorkhaland statehood was awakened.

GJM won the moral victory on the 28th, they requested and people shut down... TMC forced and people didn't open, and no matter how many channels report to the contrary, the fact remains that on September 28th, the hills stood united.

It may not have been in support of GJM, but it was definitely against TMC and its draconian diktats.

TheDC


How different medias covered GJM called bandh in Darjeeling

9:53 PM
GJM bandh turned out a success in Darjeeling hills - indiatoday
The stage is set for a mighty showdown in the Hills with both Trinamool Congress and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha gearing up for a show of strength and political space in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.

GJM SENSED LOOSENED HOLD
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the leading party in the Darjeeling hills and advocate of separate state of Gorkhaland for the people, is in a difficult position with members quitting the party either for Trinamool Congress or for JAP (Jana Andolan Party), which is its offshoot. The policy of poaching, which Trinamool Congress adopted to increase its tally has affected the GJM. The party's principal agenda of a separate state is also not finding many takers.

Yet the bandh called by GJM today was a huge success as Hill people preferred to go on a holiday instead of risking their lives in the confrontation between the Trinamool Congress and GJM supporters.

The ruling Trinamool Congress has left no stones unturned in making the bandh a flop show. Three ministers are camping in the Hills to ensure normalcy. But the situation is far from being normal. Schools, colleges, government offices were kept open and public transport was plying, but very few people were willing to step out of their houses.
GJM called bandh in Darjeeling 28th Sep 2016
GJM called bandh in Darjeeling 28th Sep 2016
LOCALS STAYED OUT OF THE SCENE
The division bench of Calcutta High Court has passed an order and asked the government to ensure an atmosphere of normalcy for people. However, the government was unable to build up confidence among people to feel free.


"People of Hills want peace and development. They don't want disturbance. The success of the bandh does not indicate that GJM still holds influence among the Hill people. If people  have stayed away from work, it is because they are peace loving," said Harka Bahadur Chhetri of JAP. For Mamata, the outcome of the bandh cannot be music to the ears, but she is still hoping that appearance can be deceptive.

Bandh in Darjeeling Hills sees dull response - PTI

Darjeeling, Sep 28 (PTI) The 12-hour bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling district today failed to evoke much response, even as over 200 GJM supporters were detained for trying to enforce the shutdown.

Government buses arrived at Darjeeling with tourists escorted by security personnel. Private vehicles were however off the roads.

Around 98 per cent of attendance was recorded in government offices and private schools were open. Shops were mostly closed. Bank ATMs were found to be open also.

At around 11 AM, two toy trains plied with domestic and foreign tourists to Ghoom station from Darjeeling.

This was the first time in the DHR history that a toy train operated during a bandh.

Darjeeling District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava told reporters that more than 200 hundred GJM supporters were detained. Three Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) members were arrested during the bandh.

Three state ministers -- Gautam Deb, Rabindra Nath Ghose and James Kujur monitored the situation in the three hill sub-Divisions.

Opposing the bandh, Chief Minister Mamata Banjeree had yesterday stated that there should be no more shutdown and blockades.

"Bengal's economy was affected by bandhs. There was enough bandh politics," she said.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) called the shutdown alleging the state government has failed to give details of Rs 4,000 crore, which the chief minister has claimed to have given to the GTA.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung, however, claimed that the shutdown was "successful".

"People in the Hills have observed a peaceful bandh," he said, adding TMC has unleashed an autocratic rule.

State tourism minister Gautam Deb, who camped at Kalimpong, said GJM supporters damaged three cars of TMC activists and the police is taking action.

On the closure of shops, he said there was a fear among shop owners and that the state government has taken all steps to maintain normalcy.

Darjeeling reels under GJM bandh - thehindu
Political temperatures went soaring in the Darjeeling hills on Wednesday over the 12-hour bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). The GJM has been demanding a separate Gorkha homeland to be carved out of three hill subdivisions of West Bengal, which is opposed by all major parties of the State.

While the bandh was called by the GJM after recent comments of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has been allocated Rs. 4,000 crore by the State government, the GJM however has raked up Gorkhaland issue. A statement issued by GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said, “Those opposing Gorkhaland will get more energy if the bandh is unsuccessful”

More than 250 GJM supporters were detained till Wednesday afternoon, District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava told journalists.

“We are checking if tourists are stranded. Vehicles are available in the hills… Some shops are open,” he said.

There were reports of vehicles being attacked in Kalimpong and Mr. Srivastava said strong action will be taken.

The three-hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong saw huge deployment of police during the shutdown. Hundreds of supporters of the GJM also took to the streets shouting slogans.

Three Ministers of the Trinamool Congress government were present in each of the subdivisions trying to ensure that shops and commercial establishment remain open.

Supporters of the Trinamool Congress also brought out rallies raising the pitch against the GJM supporters.

Darjeeling tense over bandh call - tribuneindia
Shubhadeep Choudhury Tribune News Service
Kolkata, September 27 Undeterred by a High Court directive, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) is all set to go ahead with its call for 12-hour bandh tomorrow in the Darjeeling Hill areas.
“We have not seen the court order. Bandh will be observed in the hills tomorrow”, Rooshan Giri, GJM general secretary, said.

Responding to a petition filed by Trinamool Congress leader Idris Ali, the Calcutta High Court today directed the state government to ensure that normal life is not disrupted in view of the bandh called by GJM tomorrow.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has vowed to foil the bandh call and the court directive has come to her as a shot in the arm to crack down on supporters of the bandh.

“The court has said it can start a suo motu contempt proceeding against GJM as bandhs are illegal and unconstitutional,” Amit Javalgi, Superintendent of Police of Darjeeling district, said, indicating the police resolve to take strong action against supporters of the bandh.

“Adequate forces are being deployed so that normal life is not affected in the hills tomorrow,” Javalgi added.
However, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, who formed Jana Andolon Party (JAP) after breaking away from the GJM, said if strong arm methods were used against GJM supporters tomorrow, Mamata Banerjee would be walking in the trap of the GJM because this was what GJM leader Bimal Gurung wanted.

“Bimal Gurung wants police to come down heavily on his supporters tomorrow. Violence will benefit him politically”, Chhetri, former GJM MLA from Kalimpong constituency, said.

The state government has also issued a circular making it mandatory for employees in the hills to come to the office tomorrow. Three ministers – James Kujur (tribal welfare), Rabindranath Ghosh (North Bengal Development) and Gautam Deb (Tourism) – are camping, respectively, at Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong.

“The ministers are interacting with public. They are here to give the message that the state government is serious about its opposition to the bandh call by the GJM”, Anurag Srivastava, District Magistrate of Darjeeling, said.

Harka Bahadur Chhetri said the current dispute between the state government and GJM should have been sorted out across the table since the issue involved was about the quantum of funds released by the state government to the GTA for development.
“Why put common people into discomfort by calling a bandh”, Chhetri said. Chhetri, who was backed by Mamata in the Assembly elections held earlier this year, said GJM called the bandh to regain the influence it once enjoyed in the hills.
GJM managed to retain all three Assembly seats in the hills in the 2016 General Elections but the victory margins of its candidates were considerably less than the 2011 elections.

Bandh Called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Halts Public Life in Darjeeling - news18
Sougata Mukhopadhyay | CNN-News18
Kolkata: A 12-hour bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) hit public life in Darjeeling on Wednesday as commercial establishments remained shut, defying the state government calls to boycott the strike.

The bandh, called by the GJM in support of a separate state of Gorkhaland, has been termed “illegal” by the Calcutta high court. Several shopkeepers and transport operators, however, supported the bandh in the upper reaches of West Bengal.

There were no reports of violence but minor tension was reported from Kurseong and Kalimpong towns where sympathisers of the ruling Trinamool Congress who were opposing the strike came face to face with GJM supporters who laid siege to important junctions of the hills to make the bandh a success.

The strike is being seen as the beginning of a new phase of protests in the hills as the GJM renews its calls for a separate Gorkhaland.

Seven companies of central forces and large contingents of the state police have been deployed to thwart attempts at disturbing peace. Trinamool Congress leaders Gautam, Rabindranath Ghosh and James Kujur have set up camp in the area to monitor the situation.

GJM called Darjeeling bandh, State govt. and administration set to foil the strike

11:33 AM
Morcha to TMC: avoid conflict - Ministers to camp in hills on bandh day

Telegraph Darjeeling, Sept. 26: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today "requested" the Trinamul Congress and the GNLF to stay away from confrontation during the 12-hour bandh on Wednesday 28th September 2016, but the ruling party announced that three ministers would be in the hills on that day "to supervise the situation".

The Morcha called the dawn-to-dusk shutdown in the Darjeeling hills on Wednesday to protest the allegedly false claim of Mamata Banerjee that Rs 4,000 crore had been given to the GTA. The chief minister had already announced that she wouldn't allow bandh in the hills.

Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, held a press conference here today and appealed to Trinamul and the GNLF not to confront the strike.

"The strike is a protest against the domination of the Bengal government. Mamata Banerjee and Aroop Biswas came to the hills, instigated the people and left, leaving the hill residents here. They will not be here during the strike and we request local leaders and cadres of Trinamul and GNLF not to confront the bandh as we are not against our own people," said Tamang.

Tamang also asked the GNLF to cancel its public meeting on the strike day. "We appeal to them to postpone the meeting to any other day so that there is no confrontation that day."
GJM called Darjeeling bandh, State govt. and administration set to foil the strike
Darjeeling Bandh - A File Photo
The GNLF's student wing is scheduled to hold a meeting in Darjeeling on Wednesday.

The Morcha leader said the administration was holding meetings with businessmen and transport operators and taking their phone numbers.

"Holding rallies, demonstrations and burning effigies are part of a democratic movement. But if the administration tries to force open shops, the situation could flare up not just in the hills but across north Bengal and we request the administration to handle the situation calmly and in an unbiased manner," said Tamang, who also requested vehicles from Sikkim not to operate within the GTA area on Wednesday.

Within hours, N.B. Khawash, the spokesman for Trinamul (hills), said three ministers would be stationed in the hills on the strike day.

"Three Trinamul ministers will be coming to the hills. They will probably reach tomorrow. They will be in the hills during the strike day to supervise the situation," he said.

While tourism minister Gautam Deb will be in Kalimpong, north Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh will camp in Kurseong. Tribal minister James Kujur will be in Darjeeling.

Ghosh said: "Three ministers from the state cabinet will be camping in the hills basically to instill confidence in people's mind and help them in all possible manners."

Deb said the strike was "uncalled for" and would not be accepted by the hill people. "The strike has been thrust on the common people at the start of tourism season," said Deb.

Khawash said Trinamul would appeal to the people through the public address system not to take part in the strike and make them aware of the situation. "We are positive that the people will respond to our appeal."

Even though the Morcha decided to call a strike at the start of the tourism season, the party-controlled GTA will hold World Tourism Day celebrations in Darjeeling and Kalimpong tomorrow. The GTA has, however, cancelled its programme in Mirik.

Pradip Lama, the secretary of the Darjeeling Association of Travel Agents (DATA), said: "I will not attend the GTA programmes tomorrow. This is because they will be celebrating the World Tourism Day tomorrow and observing a strike the next day. The strike will hamper tourism. My conscience does not allow me to attend the celebrations."

The government on Monday issued a notification declaring that no leave would be granted to employees posted in the GTA area from September 27 to 29 in view of the bandh called by the Morcha on September 28.

According to senior Nabanna officials, the notice gives a hint that the chief minister is set to take the Morcha head on during the bandh.

Later this evening, principal secretary of the state transport department, Alapan Bandyopadhayay, issued another notification declaring that "wilful non-plying of public service vehicles" might lead to cancellation of permits and licences.

The notification also states that the government will take steps to ensure that traffic is normal on September 28. If damage is caused to any vehicle "by unruly and violent agitators", the state will compensate through insurance, it states.

In August 2013, the Morcha had called a prolonged bandh in the hills demanding Gorkhaland and the government had issued a notification that said salary of the employees would be deducted if they did not attend offices during the shutdown.

But this time, the picture is different as Mamata appears to be tough while dealing with the bandh call.

State government and district administration ready to foil the 12-hour Darjeeling bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

HT, 27 Sep 2016, DARJEELING: The state government and district administration are getting ready to foil the 12-hour Darjeeling bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung on September 28.

While James Kujur, minister in-charge of tribal development, will oversee matters in Darjeeling on September 28, tourism minister Gautam Deb will be camping in Kalimpong and North Bengal.

“Forceful bandh has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court. We have made all necessary arrangements to tackle any eventuality. Senior police officials will be camping in Darjeeling,” said Darjeeling SP Amit P Javalgi.
A notification from the finance department, Government of West Bengal stated that all state government offices in the GTA area, including those provided with grants-in-aid by the state government, will remain open and all employees should report for duty from September 27 to September 29. Absence will result in show cause and salary deduction. Some exceptions including hospitalisation, death in the family have been made.

“Special arrangements for transport have been made. State transport department will run extra buses. We have asked all unions to ply their vehicles. We have tied up with companies to provide insurance in case vehicles are vandalised,” said district magistrate Anurag Shrivastava.

A circular from the transport department stated that the Regional Transport Officer will ensure that public transport remains uninterrupted. “Permits/ licenses are liable to be cancelled for willful non-plying of public service vehicles. Regional Transport Authority will be in charge of cancellation of permits and licenses,” said the circular.
“What can we do? We are caught between the GJM and the district administration. The district administration is pressurising us to keep our shops open. The GJM is saying just the opposite. For how long will the district administration provide us security? We will be marked,” said a shopkeeper.

“The bandh is not the fallout of a tussle between Mamata Banerjee and Bimal Gurung. It is for Gorkhaland and Bengal’s suppression of the demand. We want to see the formation of Gorkhaland by 2019. All proGorkhaland people will support the bandh,” claimed Roshan Giri, general secretary, GJM Binay Tamang, assistant general secretary, GJM warned, “If the police and district administration use force, we will extend the 12-hour bandh and make it indefinite. The jurisdiction of the bandh will then spill over to Siliguri and Dooars.”

The GJM will be sending appeal letters to transport unions of Sikkim not to ply in GTA areas, mainly on National Highway 10 on the day of the bandh.

Though the bandh call was initially called to protest chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement that Rs 4000 crores has been allotted to the GTA in the past four-and-a half years, the GJM hurriedly added the “Gorkhaland” demand to the bandh call agenda- a perfect prescription for a successful strike.
Mamata has announced that under no condition will she allow the bandh to paralyze the Hills while Gurung is adamant to see the strike through.

GJM to spread bandh to plains if police "atrocities" continue

EOI DARJEELING 26 Sep 2016 Accusing the district police of intimidating traders, business establishments and vehicle syndicates to remain open on September 28, the proposed bandh day, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today warned of continuing the strike and even spreading it to Siliguri and the Dooars.

GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang said the party would make every effort to ensure a peaceful bandh on Wednesday. But he warned that recent police activities had the potential to create a flare-up.

“Why are the police going around and taking phone numbers of traders and syndicate members? Don’t we have the right to protest in a democratic manner by putting up posters, rallying and calling strikes?

If the police attempt to open offices, schools, business establishments forcibly and if the situation turns volatile, the state government and the district administration will have to take the blame,” he threatened.

The GJM has called a 12-hour bandh in the hills on Wednesday seeking clarification from the state government within September 27 on the claim made by chief minister Mamata Banerjee that Rs 4,000 crore has been allocated for development work and that the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration had failed to execute it in the last four years.

The GJM assistant secretary said the party leadership was initially against calling the bandh, but for the intimidating statement by state minister Arup Biswas in Kalimpong on September 24. “It (Biswas' statement) has become an issue of challenge. We will definitely go ahead with our proposed bandh and even continue it and spread it to the plains if the police attempt to foil it,” said Tamang.

The GJM leader also said the party will be writing to Sikkim and apprise it about Wednesday’s bandh. “Since parts of NH-10 fall under Kalimpong sub-division, there is bound to be inconvenience.

We appeal to traders of Sikkim, vehicle owners and others to restrict their movements on the bandh day,” Tamang said.

Interestingly, the Gorkha National Student’s Front, a frontal organisation of the Gorkha National Liberation Front, will be holding its public meeting in Darjeeling on Wednesday. “We appeal to the GNLF  student wing and their party president Mann Ghisingh to postpone their public meeting,” Tamang said today.

But M.G.Subba, the Darjeeling sub-division convener of the GNLF, refused to budge and said the public meeting would go ahead as planned. “The public meeting is our pre-announced programme to highlight  the Sixth Schedule issue. The GJM should understand this. Why did they announce the strike all of a sudden?” he asked.

The GJM has also asked tourists in the hills to leave before September 27 if they have flight or train schedules for Wednesday. Later in the day, leaders of the hill TMC unit told reporters they condemned the bandh and that they would hit the streets on Wednesday to foil it. “We condemn GJM’s strike call and will protest on Wednesday. We don’t want conflict and so have started making the public aware of the disadvantages of strikes. This so because bandhs are not good for tourism, especially with the puja festivities approaching,” said N.B. Khawas, spokesperson for the hill TMC. He also said state tourism minister Gautam Deb, tribal minister James Kujur and north Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh would come to the hills on Wednesday to observe developments.

Bengal Government Goes All Out to Thwart Strike Call by GJM - Threatens Cancellation of Licences, Permits, Mandates Govt Employees Presence on 27th, 28th and 29th 

Vivek Chhetri Telegraph The West Bengal government on Monday issued a notification declaring that no leave would be granted to employees posted in the GTA area from September 27 to 29 in view of the bandh called by the Morcha on September 28.

According to senior Nabanna officials, the notice gives a hint that the chief minister is set to take the Morcha head on during the bandh.

Later this evening, principal secretary of the state transport department, Alapan Bandyopadhayay, issued another notification declaring that "wilful non-plying of public service vehicles" might lead to cancellation of permits and licences.



The notification also states that the government will take steps to ensure that traffic is normal on September 28. If damage is caused to any vehicle "by unruly and violent agitators", the state will compensate through insurance, it states.

In August 2013, the Morcha had called a prolonged bandh in the hills demanding Gorkhaland and the government had issued a notification that said salary of the employees would be deducted if they did not attend offices during the shutdown.

But this time, the picture is different as Mamata appears to be tough while dealing with the bandh call.

HC directive to government on Darjeeling bandh
The Calcutta High Court today directed the West Bengal government to ensure that normal life is not disrupted in view of a Darjeeling hills bandh called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) tomorrow.

A division bench presided by Chief Justice G C Gupta observed that the court can start a suo motu contempt proceeding against GJM as bandhs are illegal and unconstitutional and against existing judgements of Supreme Court and different high courts.


The division bench, also comprising Justice Arindam Sinha, directed the state government to ensure normal life in the hills by ensuring that individual constitutional rights are not infringed.

Moving a petition challenging the 12-hour bandh called by GJM supremo Bimal Gurung on Wednesday, Trinamool Congress MP and advocate Idris Ali submitted that existing Supreme Court and high court judgements have on many occasions declared bandhs as illegal.

Despite that a bandh has been called in Darjeeling Hills during the peak tourist season before Durga Pujas to disrupt normal life and to affect the livelihood of thousands of people involved directly or indirectly with the tourism industry, Ali submitted.

He prayed that if GJM goes ahead with the bandh call and tries to enforce it, then the hills party be directed to pay monetary compensation for any loss to the people or the state.

Gurung has called the bandh alleging that the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government had not done enough for the development of the hills and also sought detail of projects taken up or completed as stated by the chief minister recently in Kalimpong at a public meeting.

Pradip Pradhan joined Trinamul blaming GJM not delivering on its promise

10:19 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, Aug. 24: Bhupendra Pradhan, a founder member of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the GTA chairperson, today joined Trinamul, blaming the hill party for failing to deliver on its promise of development.

Pradhan, who is better known as Pradip, joined the state's ruling party in the public meeting at the Kurseong Motor Stand in the presence of Trinamul minister Aroop Biswas.

Pradhan said his decision to join the Trinamul was to ensure development in the hills, particularly Kurseong. He accused the Morcha of failing to carry out any development work in the past four years.

The GTA elections are expected to be held around July 2017. The Morcha today decided to expel Pradhan.

The hill leader arrived at the venue in the car of Biswas, who is Trinamul's observer for north Bengal.

He said the Morcha leadership was not sincere about the Gorkhaland demand and added that if a sincere leader comes ahead for statehood, he would definitely support the demand.

"In the past four years, we have been able to do nothing for the hills. I have had a talk with Mamata Banerjee and she has promised to look into issues related to the development of Kurseong. I have also raised the issue of granting district status to Kurseong. I am confident that with the TMC, there will be development here," Pradhan said.

He, however, said that if development was not ushered in even by Trinamul, he could think of leaving his new party too.

Pradhan accused the Morcha of corruption, saying some party leaders "did not have the means to even buy a good brand of cigarettes" but now "when they go to Bagdogra airport they enquire about the cost of a helicopter run by the Sikkim government. Where has this confidence come from?"

At the sidelines of the meeting, Pradhan said Bimal Gurung would not resign from the GTA as he had recently threatened. "He will not resign, note it down, as there is money in GTA," Pradhan said.

Pradhan urged the people to ponder over why Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Anmole Prasad, Trilok Dewan and Amar Lama had left the hill's biggest party.

Pradhan said in the next three months, the Morcha will have "only 20 per cent support" in the hills.

Morcha to oust Pradhan
The central committee of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today decided to expel Bhupendra Pradhan, popularly known as Pradip Pradhan, who switched to Trinamul today, from the party.

Soon after the central committee session, the GTA Sabha members met at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan and submitted a written request to the GTA Sabha vice-chairman, Lopsang Yolmo, to convene a special meeting where, sources said, they would seek the removal of Pradhan as the GTA chairman.

The meeting is likely to be held on August 26.

Morcha general secretary and the GTA Sabha member in-charge of education, Roshan Giri, said: "At the central committee meeting, we discussed the Gorkhaland issue. The party has also decided to expel Pradip Pradhan from the primary membership."

A source in the GTA said: "According to Section 37 of the GTA Act, a special meeting can be requisitioned by one-third of the Sabha members and once the vice-chairman convenes a meeting, the chairman can be removed by a resolution adopted by a simple majority of the total number of elected members of the GTA Sabha."

There are 45 elected members in the GTA Sabha.

The Morcha has also decided to hold a public meeting in Kurseong on Sunday.

According to sources, the move is an attempt to boost the morale of party cadres in the area and counter the Trinamul gathering where Pradhan switched allegiance.

Today, around 300 voluntary teachers, who were members of the Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers' Organisation (JISTO) Movement Committee, burnt the effigy of Giri here before resigning from the Morcha.

The hill party had disbanded the Movement Committee last month after some of the members had criticised Giri alleging that he had not been working towards regularising the jobs of the 500-odd voluntary teachers in more than 120 schools across the hills.

Amit Gurung, the co-ordinator of the erstwhile Movement Committee, said: "We burnt the effigy of Roshan Giri today. Around 300 members have resigned from the party. We will soon meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee and decide our future course of action."

The teachers have decided to remain apolitical at the moment, sources said.

Told about the development, Giri said: "If by burning my effigy, their jobs are regularised, they are most welcome to burn my effigy everyday."

At Darjeeling Motor Stand, the Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarthi Morcha started a relay hunger strike "for Gorkhaland" today with seven student leaders participating in it.

Satyam Lama, the president of the Vidyarthi Morcha, said: "Our hunger strike is a message that our agitation is democratic in nature. We demand that the Centre open a dialogue on Gorkhaland and efforts be taken to constitute a committee to look into our demand."


Via Telegraph

Mamata receives warm welcome from GNLF, and Development Boards

10:13 AM
Writes: Prashant Acharya

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was given a grand reception yesterday afternoon at the Bagdogra airport and in Rohini near Kurseong by hill communities that included the Khambu Rai, Lepcha Development Council members as also cadres of the Gorkha National Liberation Front.

This was the first time that GNLF supporters were seen welcoming the chief minister with khadas and Nepali scarves and reflects the ongoing bonhomie between the Trinamool chief and Mann Ghisingh, who the chief minister has appointed as vice chairman of the North Bengal Board of Sports and Games.
Thousands of people from both the plains and the hills had gathered at the airport since morning to welcome the chief minister, who landed around three in the afternoon and proceeded directly to Darjeeling without uttering a word to the press people present.

In Rohini, she was accorded a grand welcome with flowers, khadas and traditional garlands. The chief minister even alighted from her car to accept the greetings. Banerjee will be in Darjeeling for five days and welcome President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday who will be flying directly to the Lebong helipad from Bagdogra. On Wednesday, July 13 the President and Banerjee will attend a function observing the birth anniversary of Nepali poet Bhanu Bhakta Acharya. The chief minister is also slated to attend the annual meeting of the Darjeeling Tea Association during her five-day stay.
Over 400 members of the Bhujel community met chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Bagdogra airport yesterday and submitted a memorandum demanding a development board.
Mamata receives warm welcome from GNLF, and Development Boards
The state government has formed seven development boards in the hills - for Lepchas, Bhutias, Sherpas, Tamangs, Rais, Mangars and Limbus.

"A couple of days ago, sources in the government had said they would form a board to cover three (more) hill communities. This encouraged the Bhujels to approach the chief minister," an observer said:

On Saturday, a government official had said the state intended to form the West Bengal Biswakarma Welfare Board for the development of communities like the Kami, Damai and Sarki.

[With additional inputs from Telegraph]

Via TheDC

Panchayat election in GTA area claims hill TMC president Rajen Mukhia

9:26 AM
TMC hints at rural elections

Writes Vivek Chhetri
Darjeeling, July 1: The Trinamool Congress (Hills) president today hinted that the state was planning to hold the panchayat elections in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration area by the end of this year.

Although the state Election Commission has not made any announcement regarding the polls, Rajen Mukhia, the president, TMC (Hills), said: "I am hopeful that the panchayat election, even if it is for two tiers will take place in October-November this year."

The last time the hill rural polls were held in 2000.

Although the Centre, state and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had agreed to hold the three-tier rural polls in the GTA area in 2011, it was not held as a constitutional amendment is needed to start the process.

As of now, the Constitution has a provision to hold a two-tier panchayat elections in the hills - the gram panchayat and the panchayat samity.

Today, Mukhia said: "I was told to take charge of TMC (Hills) for the second term yesterday. I will try my best to justify the faith reposed on me by the leadership. We will take part in all three elections - panchayat, municipality and the GTA - and we are confident of doing well."
Hill TMC president Rajen Mukhia
Hill TMC president Rajen Mukhia
Trinamul sources said Mukhia's confidence about the poll timing comes after getting strong indications from the party leadership. "He will not speak with such confidence unless he has been given a strong hint," said a source.

Mukhia added that new committees at all levels - from district to panchayat - would be formed in the next two weeks. "The party expects results from us and we must deliver. We are very clear that only those leaders who perform will get a place in the new committees. ... Those who do not perform or are not active in the party will have to sit out irrespective of seniority," he said.

A source said Trinamul was eager to contest the elections in the hills after its performance in the Assembly polls.

While elections to the four hill municipalities - Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik - are due later this year, the GTA polls are scheduled for July next year.

A Morcha leader refused comment on Mukhia's statement. "We would not like to react unless it is discussed in a party meeting."

Via Telegraph



गोरखा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा प्रेस विज्ञप्ति

9:16 PM
गोरखा राष्ट्रिय मुक्ति मोर्चा (गोरामुमो) अनि जन आन्दोलन पार्टी(जाप)-का अध्यक्षहरू अब तृणमूल कंग्रेसका नेताहरूको अधीनमा परेका छन् जसले गत विधानसभा चुनाउ पनि जित्न सकेका थिएनन्। यो पहाड़वासीको निम्ति ठूलो अपमान हो अनि समतल केन्द्रित राजनैतिक दलहरूले पहाड़का राजनैतिक दलहरूको कहिल्यै सम्मान गर्दैनन् भन्ने उदाहरण पनि हो।

तृणमूल कंग्रेसका दार्जीलिङ जिल्ला अध्यक्षले कसरी अध्यक्ष या उपाध्यक्षको कुनै पनि पद पाएनन् अनि कसरी गोरामुमो अनि जापका अध्यक्षहरूले उक्त पदहरू पाए? यसले प्रत्यक्षरूपमै जाप अनि गोरामुमो तृणमूल कंग्रेसकै खेमाकाहरू हुन् भन्ने प्रमाणित गर्छ। हिल तृणमूलभन्दा पनि जाप अनि गोरामुमो तृणमूल कंग्रेसको निम्ति धेरै महत्वपूर्ण रहेको सत्य पनि यसले स्पष्ट पार्छ।

पहाड़का समग्र जनता यी दुई दल जाप अनि गोरामुमोदेखि टाँड़ा बस्नुपर्छ। उनीहरू गोरखाल्याण्ड बेच्ने दल हो अनि गोरखाल्याण्ड बेचेकोमा राज्य सरकारले उनीहरूलाई पुरस्कृत गरेका हुन्।

गोरामुमो अनि जापले गोजमुमोलाई भ्रष्टाचारको जुन आरोप लगाइरहेका छन् त्यो पूर्णरूपले निराधार रहेको छ। जबकि उनीहरूले नै गोरखाल्याण्डको मुद्दालाई नवान्नमा बिक्री गरेका छन् जो पहाड़को इतिहासमा सबैभन्दा ठूलो भ्रष्टाचार हो अनि यसप्रकारको भ्रष्टाचार पहाड़वासीले कहिल्यै देखेका थिएनन् अनि सोचेका पनि थिएनन्। उनीहरूलाई जनभावना अनि जातीय अस्मिता र स्वाभिमानको कुनै सरोकार छैन, यसैले गोरखाल्याण्डको मुद्दा बेचेर राज्य सरकारबाट पाएको पुरस्कारले उनीहरू गदगद भइरहेका छन्, त्यसैको पुरस्कारको रूपमा राज्य सरकारले उनीहरूलाई पद प्रदान गरेको हो।

गोरामुमो अनि जापले जनताको सपनामाथि घात गरेपछि अब गोरखाहरूको स्वाभिमान अनि जातीय अस्मिताको निम्ति निरन्तर संघर्ष गरिरहने एकमात्र इमान्दार दल गोरखा जनमुक्ति मोर्चामात्रै रहेको प्रमाणित गरिदिएको छ। किनभने गोरखाल्याण्डको निम्ति प्राणको बाजीसमेत लगाउने अब गोरखा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङमात्रै रहेको प्रमाणित भयो।

श्री रोशन गिरी,
महासचिव,
गोरखा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा।

GJM leadership weak, corrupt and lacks vision - Trinamool Congress

10:17 AM
DARJEELING 28 Jun 2016 Firing a fresh salvo at the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, the hill Trinamool Congress today accused the GJM leadership of being weak, corrupt and lacking in vision, the fallout of which was the reluctance of the state government to trust it and hand over absolute power to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.

The latest charge comes after Bimal Gurung on Monday shot-off a letter to chief minister Mamata Banerjee blaming the state government of non-cooperation in enabling the smooth running of the GTA.

Speaking to reporters today, hill TMC Mahila Congress president Sardha Subba said, “The GTA was formed four years ago but the GJM has nothing to show in terms of the development and progress of the region. The GJM leadership is weak and lacks vision. There is rampant corruption and nepotism in the GTA. This is why the state government cannot trust the GJM and give full autonomy to the GTA.”

Ever since the souring of relations with the chief minister, the GJM has been alleging of state government non-cooperation and unnecessary interference in the independent functioning of the council body. The GTA was formed with the state and central governments and the GJM signing an agreement in September, 2011 to bring to end four years of agitation for a separate state.
GJM leadership weak, corrupt and lacks vision - Trinamool Congress
Hill Trinamool Congress leader
But the hill TMC leader chose to differ saying it was an attempt by the GJM to hide four years of its failure in managing the council’s affairs properly. “Why is the GJM suddenly leveling such charges against the state government? What were they doing for four long years at the helm?

Blaming the state government now is nothing but the GJM’s effort to cover up its faults as they have not worked for the people,” charged Subba.

She was also of the opinion that not keeping a healthy relation with the state government would have a counter effect on the hills and its people. “The GJM has failed to keep good relations with the chief minister and the state government. She is after all the chief minister and the hills are a part of Bengal. Therefore, it makes sense that the two remain be on the same wavelength to usher development in the hills,” Subba said.

When asked about the possibility of the TMC contesting the upcoming municipality and GTA elections this November and next year, respectively, the TMC leader said, “Lots of things are going wrong in the hills and this needs rectification. However, the decision to participate in the elections rests completely on our party high command.”

(EOIC)


GNLF now second fiddle to TMC - Roshan Giri

10:23 AM
Writes RAJEEV RAVIDAS

Kalimpong, June 21: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri today accused the GNLF of kowtowing to Trinamul and said the party had "lost its plot".

Reacting to the meeting between GNLF president Mann Ghisingh and chief minister Mamata Banerjee yesterday, Giri told reporters in Darjeeling: "How can GNLF, under whose leadership over 1,200 people sacrificed their lives for Gorkhaland, join hands with a party whose chief has repeatedly voiced her opposition to the creation of a state for the Gorkhas? The party has lost the plot completely."

He added: "The GNLF will now be reduced to playing second fiddle to Trinamul in the municipality and the GTA elections. The party stands thoroughly exposed and is fast on its way to losing relevance in the hills completely."
GNLF now second fiddle to TMC - Roshan Giri
GNLF now second fiddle to TMC - Roshan Giri
After yesterday's meeting, GNLF leaders had said they were open to contesting polls in alliance with Trinamul.


Via Telegraph


GNLF delegation led by Mann Ghisingh to meet Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna

9:54 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, June 17: The GNLF today said a delegation of party leaders led by Mann Ghisingh would meet Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna on June 20 at the invitation of the chief minister.

Political observers said the meeting might be the formalisation of a political alignment that had taken on the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the Assembly elections.

Harka Bahadur Chhetri's Jana Andolan Party, Trinamul and the GNLF had come together to fight the Morcha in the Assembly polls in the three hill constituencies. While Chhetri was the JAP candidate in Kalimpong, Trinamul contested from Kurseong and Darjeeling.

N.B. Chhetri, the spokesman for the GNLF, said: "We had written to the chief minister sometime back expressing our wish to meet her. We have been invited for a meeting at Nabanna on June 20. Our party president, Mann Ghisingh, will be leading a six-member delegation for the meeting which is scheduled for 4pm."
Mann Ghisingh to meet Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna
Mann Ghisingh to meet Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna
The GNLF had also backed Trinamul candidate Bhaichung Bhutia in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat in the 2014 general elections. Despite the support, the hill party couldn't cement its relation with Mamata Banerjee. In between the 2014 Parliament elections and the Assembly polls, GNLF leaders had met Mamata only once in Darjeeling.

"We had met the chief minister once when she was in Darjeeling (after the Lok Sabha polls) but it was more of a courtesy call. Apart from that, our party president was invited to Mamata's swearing-in recently. This time, we are hopeful of the meeting. We also believe this would be the beginning of more meetings," said Chhetri.

The GNLF delegation is looking at using the meeting to strengthen its ties with Mamata. "We have nothing in mind. There are many issues which we need to take up with the chief minister. But everything will depend on how the meeting progresses," said Chhetri, who is also a former Darjeeling MLA.

The combined efforts of the JAP, Trinamul and the GNLF and also the support of chairpersons of development boards of various hill communities did give a tough fight to  the Morcha, especially in Kalimpong. In all the three hill Assembly segments, the Morcha’s victory margin went down by nearly 50 per cent compared to the 2011 Assembly election results.

In a separate development, Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai said on Friday that all three legislators of the Morcha had met Mamata in her chamber in the Assembly building and thanked her for creating Kalimpong district


Via Telegraph


Hills on agitation path for salary hike & dues spearheaded by GJM

10:18 AM
Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, June 13: GTA offices and some tea gardens are in the grip of movements spearheaded by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the hills.

While all 284 Group A and B ad hoc employees at the hill body started a pen-down strike this morning to demand a salary hike, the Morcha-affiliated tea garden trade union today announced a 72-hour relay hunger strike on the district magistrate's office premises this week to press for the payment of dues in plantations owned by Trinamul Congress MP K.D. Singh.

Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan, the trade union of the Morcha, launched the strike to demand a hike in salaries of Group A and B casual staff at the GTA similar to the one effected by the state government for Group C and D ad hoc workers from March 1. The Group A and B employees include engineers, doctors, managers and school teachers.
The agitating GTA employees outside Lal Kothi on Monday
The agitating GTA employees outside Lal Kothi on Monday. (Suman Tamang)
"In the GTA, the highest amount a Group A officer like engineers and doctors currently receives is Rs 21,000 per month, while some drivers in Group C section are now getting Rs 22,500 following the recent hike. This is unfair. We will continue the agitation until the government rectifies the anomaly," said Deepak Sharma, the spokesman for the Sangathan.

The GTA has over 19,000 employees in total and 5,321 of them were appointed on a temporary basis. Since there are permanent employees in the Group A and B categories and today was the first day of the strike, the GTA's functioning was not affected.

The Morcha-affiliated Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union today said it had decided to start the 72-hour relay fast in the district magistrate's office from June 16 and block NH55 on June 21 and 22 to press for the payment of dues in the three gardens run by the Alchemist Group.

The union claims that the dues come to Rs 10 crore.

Early this morning, tea garden and cinchona plantation workers also demonstrated for an hour before reporting for work to demand land rights for the inhabitants of the tea and cinchona plantations.

Telegraph


GJM & JAP both demands Inclusion of Dooars in Kalimpong district

11:12 AM
Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, June 7: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Jana Andolan Party, two principal parties in the hills, have suggested the incorporation of additional areas from the Dooars in the proposed Kalimpong district.

The proposals were made at an all-party meeting convened by Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava here today to seek feedback on the creation of Kalimpong district and Mirik subdivision. Sipchu, Toribari, Bagracote Pathorjhora, Ellenbari,Chilauna and Samsing - the Dooars areas the Morcha wanted to be in the Kalimpong district - are part of some of the 398 mouzas the party had demanded to be brought under the GTA's jurisdiction.

Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Morcha, said: "We support the creation of Kalimpong district, a demand we had first raised. We want areas like Sipchu, Toribari, Bagracote Pathorjhora, Ellenbari,Chilauna and Samsing (which are presently in Jalpaiguri district) to be incorporated in the new district. These areas are contiguous to the present Kalimpong subdivision."
The all-party meeting in Darjeeling on Tuesday. Picture by Suman Tamang

Giri said the Morcha wanted three subdivisions and seven blocks in the new district, and three blocks in Mirik subdivision.

Anmole Prasad, a member of the JAP's bureau, said the party had made a written submission on various aspects of the formation of the Kalimpong district. The JAP also wants parts of the Jalpaiguri district to be included in the new district.

"We want the boundaries of the new district to be redrawn so that its two sides have highways and a compact zone is created," said Prasad.

The JAP basically wants areas lying north of NH31 in Jalpaiguri district to be the southern boundary of the Kalimpong district and areas like Kalijhora, Lohapul, Suntalay and Rambi, which are along NH10 and in the Kurseong subdivision, to be the western border.

The JAP wants Kalimpong district to have three subdivisions and 10 blocks. The party demanded at the meeting that four blocks be created to make up the new Mirik subdivision.

"We also seek the formation of a committee comprising stakeholders, NGOs, experts and citizens to monitor and assist the formation of the district and the subdivision. Future meetings should be held at respective locations (Kalimpong and Mirik) to enable detailed discussions and new administrative townships should be created there to de-congest the area," said Prasad.

Representatives of parties like the GNLF, ABGL, CPRM and the Trinamul Congress also attended the meeting.

Srivastava said the parties had been asked to submit the suggestions in writing by tomorrow evening.

"An all-party meeting is usually called before the start of the process to create a new district. We have asked political parties to submit their suggestions in writing by tomorrow evening so that we can go through them and then prepare a report based on administrative feasibility. The report will be submitted to the government as early as possible," said Srivastava.

Telegraph

Central committee formed to look into the demand for ST status to 11 hill communities - GJM

11:15 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, June 3: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) today advised Trinamul women chief in the hills, Sharda Subba Rai, to consult her party leadership before making statements on granting tribal status to 11 communities.

"The statement issued by Sharda Subba Rai, the Trinamul candidate who lost the recent Assembly election from Darjeeling, clearly suggests that she is unaware of the developments over the tribal status issue. It is also very clear that she has not consulted senior Trinamul leaders and we suggest that she be clear on an issue that is as important as granting tribal status before making any comments," said Binay Tamang, assistant general secretary of the Morcha.

The Morcha was reacting to Subba's charges that the hill party and its ally at the Centre, the BJP, were not sincere on the tribal issue.
Central committee formed to look into the demand for ST status to 11 hill communities
Central committee formed to look into the demand for ST status to 11 hill communities

"On May 25, the Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for the introduction of two bills in Parliament to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in five states - Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Tripura - and identification of new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry," Sharda Subba said had said.

Five communities from Chattisgarh, two each from Assam, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu and one each from Tripura and Puducherry have been identified, the Trinamul leader had said.

"The Morcha is an ally of the BJP but there was no mention of a single community from the hills. This clearly proves that both the Morcha and the BJP are not sincere about the demand and are only using it as an election plank as municipal polls are due this year and GTA elections next year," Sharda Subba had said.

Tamang today said: "On April 2, the Centre formed a committee to look into the demand of granting ST status to 11 communities. Whereas in the case of the committees that were recommended on May 25, such a committee had been formed in 2013. It is after the report of the 2013 committee that the Centre is now preparing to place a bill in Parliament. Our case is different as the committee has only been formed now, that too because of our incessant pressure, and we are confident that the recommendation from this committee will be favourable for us," said Tamang.

"The developments clearly suggest that Sharda Subba Rai is confused on the issue," said Tamang.


Via Telegraph


GJM & BJP bluffing on Scheduled Tribe and land rights issues alleges TMC

9:03 AM
On May 25, the Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for introduction of two bills in Parliament to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in five states - Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Tripura - and identification of new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry but there was not a mention of a single community from the hills.

Writes Vivek Chhetri 

Darjeeling, June 2: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today brought out a rally to press for the inclusion of 11 communities in the Scheduled Tribe list but Trinamul quickly alleged that the Morcha, along with the BJP, was playing with the sentiments of hill people.

The prompt response of Trinamul suggests the tribal-status issue, along with granting of land rights for tea garden and cinchona plantations inhabitants, is likely to take centre stage for some time now.

The rally, organised by the Yuva Morcha, started from the Darjeeling Motor Stand and culminated at a street corner meeting at Chowrasta in Darjeeling today.

Priyabardhan Rai, the Yuva Morcha general secretary, said: "We demand that the 11 communities must be granted tribal status as early as possible. We are planning to hold similar rallies in other parts of the hills soon."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha Chief Bimal Gurung during the BJP election campaign rally at Birpara on April 7, 2016 in Dooar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha Chief Bimal Gurung during the
BJP election campaign rally at Birpara on April 7, 2016 in Dooar
But within two hours of the rally, Sharda Subba Rai, who was the Darjeeling Trinamul candidate in the recently concluded Assembly election and a senior party leader, called a news conference and slammed the Morcha and the BJP.

"On May 25, the Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for introduction of two bills in Parliament to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in five states - Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Tripura - and identification of new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry," Sharda Subba said.

Two communities from Assam, five from Chattisgarh, two from Jharkhand, two from Tamil Nadu and one each from Tripura and Puducherry have been identified, the Trinamul leader said.

"The Morcha is an ally of the BJP but there was not a mention of a single community from the hills. This clearly proves that both the Morcha and the BJP are not sincere about the demand and are only using it as an election plan as municipal polls are due this year and GTA elections next year," Sharda Subba said.

"While the people are being asked to come out to participate in rallies, serious work is not being done by the leaders of both the parties," she said.

On April 2, when the model code of conduct was already in place in Bengal, the ministry of tribal affairs had issued an order constituting a committee to examine and recommend on the demand of granting tribal status to various Gorkha communities "living in Sikkim and other Gorkha dominated states and areas."

Roopak Chaudhuri, deputy secretary, Union ministry for tribal affairs, in the order had stated: "It has been decided to constitute a committee headed by Shri Ashok Pal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, to examine and recommend regarding granting of Scheduled Tribe Status to eleven communities, namely Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami, Yakkha (Dewan) and Dhimal living in Sikkim and other Gorkha-dominated states and areas."

The committee is to submit its recommendation on the matter to the ministry of tribal affairs within three months.

D.K. Pradhan, convener of the Morcha's Study Forum, said: "She has got confused with the two developments. She needs to understand the issue properly and we appeal that an issue of this importance should not be politicised. We will issue a detailed reaction after going through her statement tomorrow."


Via Telegraph

Dooars voted for Trinamul and BJP Assembly Election 2016

8:06 AM
Dooars goes to TMC & BJP

Writes ANIRBAN CHOUDHURY & AVIJIT SINHA

May 20: The tea belt in the Dooars has voted for Trinamul and the BJP, the parties that have negligible or no trade unison base in the region for the first time.

Trinamul has won four of the five seats and the BJP bagged one.

In the past, Malbazar, Nagrakata, Madarihat, Kalchini and Kumargram were with the Left Front or the Congress.

While Malbazar and Nagrakata are in Jalpaiguri district Madarihat, Kalchini and Kumargram are in Alipurduar.

"There was a common trend in the tea belt of the Dooars and Terai. In seats where the Citu or Utuc-backed unions were strong, the CPM or the RSP used to win and in places where Intuc-backed union was strong, the Congress would win," Gopal Pradhan, the president of the Utuc-backed Dooars Cha Bagan Workers' Union, said. "This is the first time that tea workers have voted for Trinamul and the BJP."

He added: "While the BJP does not have any trade union base in the tea belt, Trinamul has many and the total support base of such unions - which claim to be affiliates of the INTTUC - is less compared to Citu, Utuc or Intuc."

Trade union leaders said the campaigns by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee and interventions by both the state and central governments had worked.

"Tea workers who used to vote for the parent parties of the trade unions have started differentiating between unions and political parties," Mani Kumar Darnal, the joint general secretary of the Intuc-backed National Union of Plantation Workers, said.

A change has also been seen in the Terai's two Assembly seats in Darjeeling district.

In Matigara-Naxalbari, Sankar Malakar of the Congress won by a margin of 18,627 votes. In Phansidewa, Sunil Tirkey of the Congress has won by 7,074 votes. In both the seats, BJP's votes have increased by around six times compared to 2011. Trinamul has increased its votes compared to 2014.

Manoj Tigga, the BJP winner from Madarihat, said tea workers had lost faith in unions. "They want state and Centre to address their issues."

Telegraph

 
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