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5 May 2017

With GTA's present tenure nearing end, GJM's youth wing presses for Gorkhaland .... GJM youth wing wants GTA scrapped, renews statehood demand

With GTAAmitava Banerjee |MP | 4 May 2017 | Darjeeling : The Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha (GJYM — youth wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha) has written to the President of India for the formation of Gorkhaland following the end of the 5-year tenure of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA.) The five-year tenure is slated to expire in August this year. 
The letter states that in 2011 a tripartite agreement was inked between the Government of India, Government of West Bengal and the Gorkha Janmukti Morch (the party spearheading a separate state agaitation) that had paved way for a "temporary arrangement" in the form of an autonomous body, the GTA. "The phase of the transition is successfully over and as we would request your office for an immediate upgradation, effecting the recognition of the districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Terai and the area of Eighteen Duars as Gorkhaland, a new state of the Union of India, in the greater interest of the nation" stated the letter. Incidentally on August 4, 2012, Bimal Gurung had taken charge of the GTA as the Chief Executive. 
The letter further stated that the area under discussion is of strategic importance in the context of national security as it is surrounded by four international borders — Nepal in the west; Bangladesh in the south; Bhutan in the east and China in the north. 
"Thus an unstable political situation arising out of the differences between the aspirations of the Gorkhas and the repressive regime of those in power in West Bengal would prove to be highly damaging in the chicken's neck (Siliguri corridor) area surrounded by the international borders," warned the letter signed by Amrit Yonzon, general secretary, GJYM. Copies of the letters were also sent to the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, Bengal Governor, Bengal Chief Minister, Member of Parliament, Darjeeling, and the GTA chief. 
"This area has witnessed a number of agitations including the violent agitation of the 1980s and again of 2007, both over the demand for Gorkhaland. It is time for a final settlement. GTA type of arrangement will not fulfill the aspirations of the people," stated Prakash Gurung, GJYM president, who is also a GTA member. 
Gurung stated that as the NDA led by the BJP is in favour of smaller states and as the GJM is a constituent party of the NDA, time is right for the creation of Gorkhaland. 
"Let the situation not go out of hand. Let there not be a violent agitation like the 1980s. We are prepared for any eventuality and ready to make the supreme sacrifice. The Centre should take serious note of this. The government will be blamed for any untoward situation emerging out of this present discontent," warned Gurung. 

EOI, DARJEELING, 4 May 2017: The youth front of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has written to the President seeking the dissolution of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and the creation of a separate Gorkha state.
The Gorkha Janmukti Yuwa Morcha also announced it would neither participate nor campaign for the party’s candidates in the civic election and warned of unrest if the Centre failed to curve out a separate state from Bengal. Besides the President, the GJYM has also written to West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and chief minister Mamata Banerjee voicing their demand. Letters have also been sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Rajnath Singh and to Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia.
“The GTA is a temporary arrangement our party accepted on an experimental basis. We (youth front) however never gave our consent although we wanted to see if it could help the people of the hills. Now, we have come to the conclusion that it (GTA) has failed to deliver and is only a hurdle in the way of achieving a separate state. We want a permanent solution in the form of a separate state,” said Amrit Yonzon, the GJYM general secretary.
On the Opposition's allegation that the renewed demand for a separate state was just an election stunt, the GJYW general secretary said: “We know political parties here are saying our stand is an election gimmick. But we are sincere in our demand as only our party has taken up the statehood issue in every possible platform in the country,” Yonzon said.
Four municipalities of the hills are set to go to the polls on May 14 with candidates from the GJM, TMC, GNLF, CPIM and independents in the fray. GJYM Central Committee president Prakash Gurung expressed faith on the BJP but asserted that time had come for the saffron party to honour the partnership pact. “The BJP at the Centre believes in creation of smaller states. Four new states have already been formed. The Central government is our guardian as well as our political ally. Now we want them to show respect and honour our partnership and give us justice by creating a Gorkha state,” he said. He was also critical of the state government in making the GTA a failure.
“Bengal is using every means to curb the statehood demand. The GTA has been crippled by unjustified interference of the state government. We feel that the GTA will neither give us security nor fulfill our aspirations,” Gurung said. The GJYM has appealed to all political parties of the hills to unite and work to achieve a separate state keeping differences aside.
“The time is right in Delhi. All like-minded political parties in favour of creating a separate state must cooperate and work together for Gorkhaland in a democratic way,” Gurung said.
A delegation of the Federation for New States (FNS) visited Darjeeling recently claiming the present dispensation in Delhi had made up its mind to create new states within 2019. The federation also met leaders of various political parties and appealed for a joint voice for the statehood demand. 

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