The Bimal Gurung and Binoy Tamang faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) have distanced themselves from the tripartite meeting called by the Union Home Ministry ‘to review the GTA system’ on August 7.
Bimal Gurung GJM’s statement came following the ministry's invitation for the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) review meeting to be held along with a team of bureaucrats from West Bengal.
“A letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which has been going viral on social media since this afternoon, entitled Meeting to review the issue related to Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. I would like to clarify that we have repeatedly called for talks with the central government for a lasting political solution - not to review the GTA system. The last review meeting of the GTA was held on January 29, 2015. There is no justification for holding a review meeting of that provision five years later today. All of us CA members including the Chief Executive of GTA resigned from GTA on June 23, 2017,” the statement reads.
“BJP has also mentioned in its resolution letter about a ‘permanent political solution’ and ‘recognition of the remaining eleven caste groups as tribes’. There is no mention of GTA anywhere in the BJP’s resolution letter.” it further reads.
Distancing the Bimal faction from the viral letter, the statement added that the faction has nothing to do with the letter and we will not be attending this GTA review meeting.
The Home Ministry’s letter inviting the parties to talk on the issue has created confusion as it failed to specify which GJM faction - Bimal or Binoy - has been invited. Adding to the confusion, it was also unclear if the BJP’s Hills alliance partner- Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) is invited in the meeting or not.
“The bone of contention is not who will attend the meeting, it is the issue of the meeting. We are not happy with the GTA formula because it did not fulfil the aspiration of the Gorkhas because it failed in all fronts. We are interested on ‘permanent political solution’ in the hills which was promised by the Central government and permanent solution is carving Darjeeling out of Bengal for a separate Gorkhaland,” Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) leader and MLA from Darjeeling, Neeraj Zimba told News 18.
Further responding on why GNLF is not invited in the tripartite meeting, Zimba added that “I promised people that we will not support anything which will go against the Gorkhaland movement and if things continue like this then I will be left with no other options but to resign.”
Further stating that the meeting would not benefit the prime agenda, Binoy Tamang, GJM said, “we have decided not to attend the meeting because Gorkhaland is not included as the agenda of the meeting, we are not interested.”
The move comes after a two-member delegation of GJM (Bimal Gurung faction) including Nima Tamang and Dr. Binu Sundas met the Union Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah in New Delhi. Here, the delegates reminded Shah about BJP’s commitment towards Gorkha (a separate state) as stated in the ‘sankalpatra’.
The ‘Gorkhaland’ movement was spearheaded by Subhash Ghisingh with violent agitation in 1980s but his movement suffered a setback after Bimal Gurung rebelled and broke out to form his own party - Gorkha Janmukti Morcha - on October 7, 2007.
The rift in GJM is out in open since August 31, 2017 after Binay Tamang was removed as a Chief Coordinator for going against Bimal Gurung’s wish in calling off the indefinite strike (then) in the Hills.