Bimal seeks party’s report on pros and cons of bandh

The two NBSTC buses at Darjeeling town after dropping their passengers from Siliguri. SE Pic
Thu, Sep 14, 2017

Binay to meet Central leaders in Delhi

DARJEELING: GJM president Bimal Gurung is expected to take further decisions regarding the ongoing Gorkhaland agitation after he receives the report on the all-party meeting held yesterday with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Uttarkanya, Siliguri.
“I have informed our party president of what happened in the meeting. He has asked me to hold a meeting of the MLAs and some central committee leaders and send him a written report. The report is to mention what took place in the meeting along with the pros and cons of the ongoing strike. After this, further decisions would be undertaken,” said Darjeeling MLA Amar Rai.
The meeting is to be held within two days after Morcha leaders like R.P. Waiba returns from Kolkata.
Rai along with Kalimpong MLA Sarita Rai had attended the meeting yesterday as public representatives as the State government only allowed the GJM faction led by Binay Tamang to attend the talks.
Commenting on the ongoing strike which completed 91 days today, Rai said: “I personally feel that there have been some negative feelings regarding the strike.”
Gurung had yesterday given a statement that the hills bandh would not be lifted till initiative is taken for tripartite talks on Gorkhaland demand.
Meanwhile, Morcha rebel leader Binay Tamang has again appealed that the strike is lifted.
“I have appealed the people before also and appeal to them again that they should open their establishments and tea gardens. Ninety nine percent of the people want the strike to be lifted while there are few who do not want it to open. Threats are being issued to business establishments not to open their shops but we appeal to them not to be afraid as we will give protection to them. We feel that there are chances of the hills opening in a few days,” said Tamang.
“The Gorkhaland movement is in one place and it can be achieved through dialogues and talks. Till we get Gorkhaland we will continue our fight but people should not face any problems,” said Tamang.
He added that the prolonged bandh is putting the people here into more pressure than the government.
Tamang also responded to allegations that he had called the indefinite without consulting the party leadership. I am alleged by Gurung to have called the strike but I have tried to open it but Gurung again does not allow the bandh to be withdrawn, he said.
“Gurung is in Sikkim while Roshan Giri (GJM general secretary) is in Delhi and both do not know what is happening here and the problems being faced by the people, especially those working in the tea gardens. By asking for wages for the tea garden workers, we just want to give them relief as along with the movement they also have to think of their families,” said the Morcha rebel leader.
Tamang maintained that he had called the strike (on June 15) but after consulting with the GJM central committee leaders.
He said the dialogue with the State government is moving in the right direction. The Chief Minister has assured us to look into the legal and constitutional aspects of a tripartite meeting and the next State-level talks on October 16 could fix the dates for the tripartite meeting, he said.
Tamang said he will go to Delhi before the Puja festival to meet Central leaders and take their views on the present situation in the hills.
Meanwhile, today two North Bengal State Transport Corporation buses under security were seen ferrying passengers from Siliguri to Darjeeling and vice versa. Also seen for some days now were government school teachers attending their schools daily but no students have reported for classes.