In a U-turn, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha on Sunday said it was withdrawing its proposal for an interim set-up, scheduled to be taken up at the next tripartite meeting and wanted a separate state.
GJM chief Bimal Gurung told a rally at a school campus, five km from here, that they would henceforth carry on the movement for a separate state which would be known as the ‘Gorkha-Adivasi Parishad’ and not Gorkhaland.
The new pradesh will include the Terai region, the entire Dooars region and Siliguri, the GJM leaders announced.
The demand will be placed formally before the Central government soon, Bimal Gurung, president of the Morcha announced.
Among others who addressed the rally were Amar Lama, Roshan Giri, Harka Bahadur Chetri, Benoy Tamang, all Morcha central committee members, and Jaswant Singh, Darjeeling MP, who is all set to re-join BJP.
“The new state will have Gorkhas and Adivasis in it and for this we have talked to the Adivasi Kalyan Parishad of North Bengal. They have agreed to our proposal and we have told them that while we will have the state headquarters at Darjeeling, a branch of the headquarters will be set up at Jalpaiguri too,” Gurung said at the rally that was attended by about one lakh people.
Jaswant Singh, who came to Darjeeling about one month back and got a very lukewarm reception from the Morcha, said that he was in favour of Gorkhaland Adivasi Pradesh. “My support for this legitimate demand of the people of Darjeeling will remain,” Singh said.
The GJM has also called off the 10-day bandh it had called from June 12 to June 21. “The people of the hills have suffered a lot following the death of Madan Tamang and that is why we cancelled this bandh,” Gurung said.
The central committee of the Morcha will meet on June 14 and will decide on its next course of action, according to the Morcha leaders.