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8 Aug 2017

People question GMCC role

A road blocked by Gorkhaland supporters during the ongoing strike. File picture
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 7: People of the hills have started raising questions on separate moves by parties on Gorkhaland even after a common platform was formed by political and apolitical organisations to spearhead the movement

"In the past couple of weeks, we have been noticing that the GMCC (Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee) has kept itself limited to holding sessions and occasionally meeting some people like the Darjeeling MP in Delhi. It has not taken up any joint movement. Instead, parties are acting individually and making their own decisions. We fail to understand why the joint body was formed then," a retired schoolteacher in Kurseong said.

Although the current strike was launched by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, it was later supported by all other hill parties. Subsequently, the GMCC was formed by the political and apolitical organisations in the hills with the express purpose of giving a collective leadership to the movement.

The strike entered Day 54 today.

After the GMCC was formed, it was decided that leaders of all parties would sit on an indefinite hunger strike from July 15. The plan was, however, dropped later.

"Since then, other than holding meetings, the GMCC has not announced any joint programme. It is disappointing that the parties are working on their own, as if to outwit each other," a housewife in Darjeeling said.

Three members each of the Yuva Morcha have been sitting on "fast-unto-death at four locations in the hills. On the other hand, the Jana Andolan Party took out a march from Jantar Mantar in Delhi today.

Mann Ghisingh, the GNLF president, is also in Delhi, though his party has not taken up any political programme there. Some senior Morcha leaders are also camping in the national capital to lobby the Centre.

Altogether, the hill residents said, there is no co-ordination in the movement.

"If different parties had such plans, why did they try to create an impression that they would work together for the common demand of Gorkhaland. We have been bearing the brunt of the strike but now it seems the movement is leading nowhere," a trader in Kurseong said.

A GMCC representative, however, said the apprehensions of the residents were unfounded. "It was decided that all parties would lobby Delhi for talks on Gorkhaland, using their own resources. But that does not mean that the GMCC has lost its relevance. Individual activities might have been taken up by some parties but we are working together for achieving the demand," he said.

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