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Gorkhaland issue to be raised in WB assembly: GJM
GJM said will raise the Gorkhaland issue in the West Bengal Assembly if its representatives are elected.
Kolkata: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), contesting the elections for the first time, will raise the Gorkhaland issue in the West Bengal Assembly if its representatives are elected.
"We want to go to the Assembly to raise our voice for a separate Gorkhaland and if we are not allowed to place that demand then we will certainly walk out and send our resignation," GJM spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chetri told PTI over phone.
When reminded that the government and the two major political parties, CPM and opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC), were against a separate Gorkhaland and unlikely to allow the GJM to raise the issue, Chetri was undaunted.
"If we win the elections then it is certain that the people of the hills are with us and if the government wants to throttle the voice of the people then we have no reason to stay there," he said.
"We are not against democracy and we have full faith in the constitution and the voice of the majority of the people should be respected but the government of West Bengal is ignoring the popular demand," Chetri added.
Chetri who is also contesting from Kalimpong Assembly constituency said, "After a lot of consideration we have decided to contest in the elections because if we don't contest and the election is won by the GNLF (Gorkha National Liberation Front) or ABGL (Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League) then their voice will be considered to be the voice of the hills".
"This will not be justice to the people of the hills" Chetri added.
The main plank of the GJM's campaign is not development but proper demarcation of the Gorkha majority areas. When asked about it, Chetri said, "I admit that the Darjeeling Hills lack infrastructure and supply of basic amenities, but all these issues would be taken care of once we get our separate state and so we are insisting on demarcation of the areas where Gorkhas are in majority."
GNLF (Gorkha National Liberation Front) or ABGL (Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League), the two rival political parties of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha are not pressing for a separate Gorkhaland rather they are insisting on the infrastructure and overall development and providing basic amenities for the people of the hills.
Chetri, however, denied that the party's stand of providing support to a BJP candidate at Madarihat constituency in Jalpaiguri district and extending support to Congress and Trinamool Congress alliance candidates in other north Bengal constituencies was contradictory.
"BJP is the only party to raise our issue at the national level and so we extended our support to their candidate at Madarihat Assembly Constituency out of gratitude but in the other constituencies we have decided to back Congress and Trinamool Congress to end the Left Front rule," Chetri said.
The GJM has put up candidates for all the three hill seats -- Kalimpong, Kurseong and Darjeeling in Darjeeling district -- which go to polls on April 18 in the first phase of the six phase elections in West Bengal.
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