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GJM delegation in Delhi after campaigning in north india

New Delhi : After a whirlwind seven-day tour of various northerly states to woo the Gorkha populace to vote for the BJP in the 16th edition of the general election, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung reached Delhi . The GJM president, accompanied by Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri, party assistant secretary Binay Tamang and central committee members Raju Pradhan and Diwakar Gurung had started his election campaign trail on May 1. Ahead of the first phase of polling in Bengal, Gurung had announced all agitations and activities in relation to the statehood demand would now be concentrated in Delhi. He has even called on the Gorkha community residing across the country to vote in favor of BJP candidates. The GJM and the BJP have tied up for the second time to contest elections with the separate Gorkhaland state issue being the chief reason behind their bonding. “Gorkhas in many parts of the country are merely being used as pawns in the electoral chessboard. Once the elections are over, public representatives do not even give us a second look.

This must change and the Gorkha community must demonstrate its electoral strength by uniting to tell this great nation that their votes count and they too can change the fates of legislators,” remarked the GJM chief. Gurung also stressed that Narendra Modi’s assertion about the dreams of the Gorkhas being his too should not be concentrated to a particular region. “His (Modi’s) statement in Siliguri last month was not meant only for the Gorkhas of the Darjeeling hills and the Dooars, but for the entire community residing across the country. I urge our people to understand this and vote for the BJP for the greater good of our community,” he said. The leader also advised the Gorkha people to give emphasis and importance to language, culture and tradition to ensure a feeling of brotherhood within the community. “We have a rich linguistic and cultural heritage that we should be proud of. But it is more important to preserve them to strengthen our bond further,” said Gurung, adding the GJM will organise linguistic and cultural camps for the youths of the community this winter. Such camps will be hosted by places such as Mussorie, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, Haridwar and Delhi that have substantial Gorkha populations and incidentally, comprise areas Gurung toured to campaign for the saffron front. 

The GJM delegation will be back in Darjeeling on Thursday after which it will call a meeting with central committee members to discuss the panchayat election that is expected to be announced by the state government after May 16, the day the general election results will be announced. Heaping praises on the BJP, the GJM chief described it as the only party that has sincerely taken up the issue of the statehood demand of the Gorkhas. “The BJP is sincere towards our demand and we feel it is the only party capable of giving us what we are demanding since the last 100-odd years. I also feel if the BJP comes to power, it will benefit not just the Gorkhas of the Darjeeling hills, but also those living across the country, especially in developing our community,” noted Gurung. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the GJM had backed BJP candidate Jaswant Singh from the Darjeeling constituency and this time it is SS Ahluwalia, the saffron party’s vice-president. The BJP has also given its assurance to pursue the statehood demand by including it in its election manifesto that reads it “…would look sympathetically to the long pending demand and take appropriate measures to address it”. 

- (EOIC)
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