No Headway in Tripartite ’Gorkhaland’ Meet but Solace for Gurung
As was expected, the tripartite talks on ‘Gorkhaland’ issue in New Delhi on 11th Aug’09 could not produce any tangible results. However Bimal Gurung and Co scored a moral and notional win over their archrival Subash Ghisingh by forging a consensus on abandoning the bill on sixth schedule and scrapping the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), created in 1988 after an agreement with GNLF supremo Subash Ghisingh.
It was learnt that the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) could accept the three-tier Panchayat system as applicable in rest of Bengal (till ‘Gorkhaland’ is created). However scrapping of DGHC Act of 1988 would conversely nullify whatever gains the ‘Gorkhaland Movement’ achieved from the militant movement of mid-eighties when some 1200 lives were lost.
Now Gurung can tell his comrades that he has been able to scrap the damaging agreement done by Subash and hence on can go forward for nothing less than ‘Gorkhaland.’ The West Bengal and the Central government on the other hand have shrewdly trapped Gurung into signing such an arrangement when everything is back to the pre1988 level and even a form or other of three-tier panchayat system of Bengal would also be applicable to Darjeeling Hills.
While the tripartite meeting was on in New Delhi, the ‘Adivasi Vikash Parishad’ of Dooars and ‘Amra Bangali’- a communal outfit- called a bandh in dooars area which brought life to complete standstill from Siliguri to Alipurduar. Adivasi Vikash Parishad is opposed to inclusion of dooars, which has only 30% Gorkha population, into any future ‘Gorkhaland’ arrangement whereas ‘Amra Bangali’ is opposed to any form of cessation from Bengal.
Meanwhile about 8000 DGHC contract workers jobs have become uncertain due to the decision to scrap the DGHC. They get a consolidated salary ranging from Rs.2000/- to Rs.5000/- per month. The GJM backed workers union ( Janamukti Asthahi Karmachari Sangathan ) is demanding integration of these contract labors into the state government at par with state government employees. GJM secretary Roshan Giri said that it is up to the state government to work out an alternative arrangement (for contract workers) once DGHC is dissolved.
Tags: Gorkhaland , GJM , Tripartite Meet , DGHC
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