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17 Jul 2017

Hint of fissures in hill movement panel

RAJEEV RAVIDAS Kalimpong, July 16: Leaders of some hills parties today voiced their unease over Bimal Gurung's comments yesterday, hinting at the first signs of fissures in the Gorkhaland Movement Co-ordination Committee formed two weeks ago to spearhead the statehood agitation.
Gurung, whose Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is part of the GMCC, had yesterday spoken about the need to sacrifice "blood" and had unilaterally announced a fast-unto-death programme by his party's youth wing from July 21.
GNLF spokesperson Neeraj Zimba said today: "We will discuss his comments at our next meeting (on July 18).... He should have taken the GMCC into confidence. Such unilateral action will only undermine the concept of collective leadership and derail the movement. The GNLF categorically states that it will not listen to Bimal Gurung's diktat."
Zimba said he agreed with Gurung that the movement demanded ultimate sacrifice from the people, but disagreed with him on involving the youths in the fast-unto-death programme.
Pratap Khati, the secretary of ABGL, was more scathing in his criticism of Gurung.
"Those who act unilaterally are anti-people and are against the formation of Gorkhaland," he said.
At the last meeting of the GMCC on July 11, it was decided that the leaders would go for a fast-unto-death from July 15, but it was postponed primarily because of the lack of interest of Morcha leaders, sources said.
The Morcha tried to assuage the concerns over the apparent dissent in the GMCC.
"That the Yuva Morcha should launch a hunger strike is only a suggestion by our party president. The final decision would be taken by the GMCC at its next meeting," said Kalyan Dewan, a senior Morcha leader.

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