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22 May 2017

Centre plans panel on statehood: Morcha

RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, May 21: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today claimed that the Centre was planning a three-member committee for the creation of Gorkhaland and the Union home ministry would soon be writing to the state government in this connection.
Morcha secretary Roshan Giri said the central government's position was conveyed to the party by Union home minister Rajnath Singh during a meeting in Gangtok yesterday. "On the basis of our meeting with the home minister, we are hopeful that the Gorkhas will achieve something big in the near future," said Giri, who had led the party delegation.
Giri said the three-member committee was expected to have a representative each of the Centre, the state government and the Morcha. However, the state government is expected to oppose tooth and nail the formation of such a committee, given that it is strongly opposed to any further division of Bengal.
There was no word from the Centre on the Morcha's latest claim either.
Giri said the Morcha delegation led by him also submitted a memorandum to the home minister, reminding the government of the promise made to the Gorkhas by both the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "The memorandum signed by our president Bimal Gurung has mainly appealed for early steps for the creation of Gorkhaland. We have reminded the Centre of the commitment made by the BJP in its election manifestoes to sympathetically consider the demand of the Gorkhas and Adivasis and also prime minister's assertion that 'the dream of the Gorkhas is my dream'," he said.
The Morcha team also iterated the party's demands for the setting up of the Central university in the hills and granting of tribal status to 11 Gorkha communities.

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