Header Ads

DDUDF justifies 11-point deputation to Prime Minister Modi

Kalimpong : Darjeeling-Dooars United Development Foundation president Dr. Mahindra P Lama has justified the organisation’s 11-point deputation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an initiative for the development of the hills and the overall welfare of the Gorkha people. Addressing a press meet here, he said the deputation aims to highlight the Gorkha people’s political ambition, identity and overall development. Lama was unable to represent Darjeeling in Parliament, but the deputation sent just after 15 days of Modi taking office was to put pressure on Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia to work for the development of the hills. The key issue in the deputation includes the demand for a separate state. Lama wants Darjeeling district, the Dooars, Chopra and Islampur integrated to form the proposed state. “The DDUDF is currently preparing a plan for a separate state keeping in mind the people’s political aspirations and identity, along with its boundaries and name,” Lama informed. 

The remaining 10 points in the deputation include the demand for the formation of a high-level committee to accord minority status to the Gorkha community; three-tier panchayat elections in the GTA area; inclusion of Darjeeling and the Dooars in the North Eastern States Council; reopening of the Jalepla trade route; revamping of tea and cinchona production; development of educational and research institutes in Darjeeling and the Dooars; tax holiday for the Darjeeling-Dooars region; encouragement for investment, amendment in forest regulations; and ST status to the Gorkhas. Lama said the DDUDF had also written a letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Sauraj for reopening the Jalepla trade route. “She has responded positively and has assured to look into the issue,” he added. The organisation also wants the central government to intervene in the daily minimum wage issue of tea garden workers and increase the wage to Rs350 per day, the DDUDF president informed. “We have written the letter in the form of a guideline. 

We expect the Darjeeling MP to use the guideline and work for the betterment of the people of the hills. We do not want him to be startled by our aspirations and questions, which is why we have formulated this overtly comprehensive letter,” Lama further explained. He went on to say that his organisation has demanded the MP to provide timely updates on his activities in the hills. “We want a half-yearly report on the work done and in the pipeline by the MP along with a detailed account of the usage of the MP fund,” added Lama. When asked as to when the DDUDF would register itself as a political party, Lama just said the announcement will be made at the appropriate moment.

Powered by Blogger.