You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

BJP silence on Darjeeling stir may hit unity of Gorkha outfits

LiveMint logoLiveMint 03-08-2017 Arkamoy Dutta Majumdar

Darjeeling: Late last month, a section of activists from the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) filed a report with the Darjeeling police, alleging that the member of Parliament (MP) from the district, S.S. Ahluwalia of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had gone missing.

Its symbolism was not lost on Darjeeling’s 1.5 million voters who have elected BJP candidates to the Lok Sabha since 2009, but the centre remains unmoved even after 50 days of an indefinite strike in demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

And it is BJP and the centre’s silence on the issue that may drive a wedge through the greater Gorkha unity on the demand for a separate state, said Amar Tamang of the GNLF, a close aide of its supreme leader Mann Ghisingh.

The dominant Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) objected to the GNLF filing a missing person report, said Tamang. “But why isn’t he here?” he asked, referring to Ahluwalia. Parliament is in session, and the issue of Gorkhaland hasn’t yet been discussed, Tamang added.

Key members of a Gorkha coordination committee are camping in New Delhi to lobby other political parties and the centre to intervene, but they have had little or no success yet, according to Tamang.

In the hills, patience is wearing thin, giving way to anger at BJP’s refusal to intervene. The state president of BJP, Dilip Ghosh has already clarified that his party is not in favour of a separate state being carved out of West Bengal.

“The GJM is in alliance with the BJP, and we are confident that the centre will intervene,” said Tilak Chand Roka, a central committee member of GJM, even while admitting that it would have helped if Ahluwalia had visited Darjeeling.

About the disquiet in Darjeeling over BJP’s silence on the agitation, Roka alleged the Trinamool Congress was conspiring with smaller Gorkha parties to undermine the unity in the Nepali-speaking community of the hills.

On Thursday, Ahluwalia said chief minister Mamata Banerjee should remember that administrative pressure and tight policing will not end the impasse in the hills.

At the same time, Gorkha leaders should not indulge in violence to press for their demand of Gorkhaland, he added, but didn’t immediately clarify what he and his party were doing to resolve the crisis.

More From LiveMint

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon