|Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM ) in Darjeeling|
Today, the GJM central committee leaders huddled for a meeting in Darjeeling and as a step forward reconstituted their legal cell. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, party general secretary Roshan Giri said, “The meeting today decided that we should start programs in the Hills to strengthen the party. We will also reshuffle our units across the region for better functioning, in the days to come”.
With the state government cracking the whip and deploying central forces in the hills, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) party has managed to make huge inroads in the region with regular flow of GJM supporters to its fold. Other political parties, especially the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) that had turned dormant since its ouster in 2008 in the wave of anti-sixth schedule sentiments have also started political activities in the Hills.
Sources pointed out that the need for reconstituting the party’s legal cell was imperative because of the recent problems it had to face when thousand of activists and leaders including the Sabhasads were arrested during the recent agitation. “We need to have a strong legal cell to help deal with various problems. Case in point is the recent arrests of our leaders and activists,” the source said. Even though party activists and leaders were arrested under false charges by the state government, it failed to do anything, the sources added.
D. K. Pradhan former MLA from Darjeeling and an advocate was today asked to head the legal cell for the three Hills sub-divisions. Pradhan is also the GJM party’s central committee member. “Pradhan is a competent and reputed lawyer with loads of experience. However he will be supported by other lawyers in the legal cell,” said Giri.
In the meeting attended by GJM president Bimal Gurung and other central committee leaders and the Darjeeling and Kurseong MLAs, it was also decided that a monitoring cell will be constituted to monitor the functioning of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). "In today’s meeting we felt the need for forming a monitoring cell to check the functioning of the GTA as there are big projects that will be undertaken for the development of the Hills. However, we will take a final decision later in another meeting,” said Giri.
Interestingly, the GJM president recently admitted people had become more interested in development than in a separate state and that even activists were eyeing contract work. He had attributed his decision to return to head the GTA on the two factors.