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7 Aug 2017

Harka's party reaches out to MPs

RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, Aug. 6: The Yuva Ekai, youth wing of the Jana Andolan Party, has said it embarked on an independent campaign to garner support for Gorkhaland among the members of Parliament from across the country cutting across party lines. 
A ten-member team of the youth wing yesterday met MPs of the Telegu Desam Party, Biju Janata Dal and Janata Dal (United) as part of its "Meet the MP" programme. Apart from seeking support for Gorkhaland, the JAP youths also briefed the MPs on the present situation in the hills in the wake of the renewed agitation for the separate state. 
Bishal Rai, the president of the Yuva Ekai, said the three representatives of the TDP, BJD and JDU they met were Murali Mohan Maganti, Jina Hikaka and Kaushalendra Kumar, respectively. 
"We plan to meet MPs from all 29 states of the country over the next few days with a request to support the demand for Gorkhaland in Parliament. Our aim is to ensure that the ongoing movement for Gorkhaland finds voices of support in Parliament," he said over the phone from Delhi.
The Yuva Ekai campaign comes after JAP president Harka Bahdur Chhetri had announced a unilateral two-day siege to Parliament programme in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday. Senior leaders of both the JAP and its youth wing have been camping in Delhi to carry out various programmes on their own.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is the major partner of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), is yet to carry independent agitation programme in Delhi. However, the Morcha has unilaterally announced a week-long "Tiranga Yatra" in the hills, Terai and the Dooars from August 9. Twelve members of its youth wing, the Yuva Morcha, have also been on a "fast-unto-death" in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik since July 21.
The GMCC was formed a little over a month back to provide collective leadership to the movement.
With the two major constituents of the GMCC carrying out programmes on their own, questions are being raised in certain quarters about the relevance of the joint front, which was formed with the express purpose of spearheading the agitation.
"The GMCC says that the Yuva Morcha's 'fast-unto-death' was announced before it came into being, and it will perhaps justify the Yuva Ekai programme as being in sync with what was agreed at the Pedong meeting. Remember the Pedong meeting had allowed constituent members to lobby their contacts independently for Gorkhaland. However, apart from repeatedly extending the ongoing strike, what impact-making programme has the GMCC 

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