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8 Aug 2017

'Centre can't intervene' in Hiils, GJM in a fix...Unless state gives its stamp of approval, says MoS Ahluwalia to the GMCC members in Delhi

MANAS R BANNERJEE, SNS, SILIGURI 7 AUGUST: It took eight deaths, violence, arson, and a shutdown that has crossed the 50-day mark, for the Central government to finally speak up. And when Darjeeling MP and senior BJP leader SS Ahluwalia did say something on the ongoing unrest in the Hills, it left the top leaders of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha scratching their heads.
Mr Ahluwalia, also a union minister of state, yesterday told members of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) in Delhi that the Central government will not be able to intervene in the Hill affairs until and unless the state government gives its stamp of approval.
The bombshell has left the GJMM, an ally of the NDA government at the Centre, in a tight spot, as it is now looking for some 'escape route' after it ignited the Gorkhaland agitation and called for the prolonged shut down that entered its 53rd day today,
Political sources said that keeping an eye on the elections in West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party will "never interfere" directly in the crisis and begin talks with the Hill leaders on their one-point agenda of a separate state of Gorkhaland."
"Though the BJP believes in formation of tiny states, it will never discuss Gorkhaland and hurt the sentiments of the people in West Bengal ahead of three elections here rural, Lok Sabha and Assembly.The BJP's only target is to take on the Trinamul Congress and capture power in West Bengal in the next Assembly polls, political party sources said.
The observations come as a time when Trinamul Congress chief and chief minister Mamata Banerjee is determined to stop the division of the state.
Political observers said that the GJMM, as well as GMCC, would have to wait for a few more years before their dreams may come true, if the saffron party comes to power in Bengal. According to them, the GJMM's rigid stand that the Centre should intervene and begin talks on Gorkhaland without the state government is now "strategically wrong," while it is now very tough for the Hill leaders to look for an escape route for the survival of its movement and the common people, who have sacrificed every day." The observers were referring to a way through which the GJMM can convince the people and restore normalcy in the Hills, given the facet that the Gorkhaland movement has now become a 'mass movement' with people from all walks of life and from all political parties joining hands and fighting together for the cause. GNLF leaders, who are active in the GMCC, have asked Kalyan Dewan, the GMCC leader, to brief his party president Bimal Gurung on the developments.
"Eight of our 13 leaders have returned from Delhi. Five are holding meetings with GNLF leaders in Dehradun. They will leave for Darjeeling tomorrow. GNLF central committee members will hold a meeting soon to decide on the present situation, GNLF leader Mahendra Chhetri said.
"GNLF leaders have asked GMCC convenor Kalyan Dewan to brief GJMM party president Bimal Gurung on the situation so that they may formulate strategies after the Darjeeling MP told them in Delhi yesterday that following the system of the federal structure, the Centre cannot begin dialogue on Gorkhaland without the consent from the state government," Mr Chhetri said.
One the other hand, the vice-president of the state BJP, Biswa Priya Roy Chowdhury, said his party BJP has never uttered the word Gorkhaland.
'Without nod from the state government, the Centre cannot talk about a separate state.The Centre can think of it if the state proposes it. But chief minister Mamata Banerjee,who introduced the word Gorkhaland (in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration pact and keeping on records the demand for Gorkhaland) and helped renew the demand for a separate state, is now saying that she wouldn't give up Darjeeling unto her death," added she.

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