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Gorkha National Liberation Front observes Accord Day in Hills

DARJEELING / KURSEONG 
The Gorkha National Liberation Front raked up its demand to revive the defunct Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council at a public meeting in Darjeeling held to observe the party’s Accord Day. “The DGHC accord was signed on this day back in 1988 by GNLF president Subash Ghisingh between the state and Central governments to announce the end of the statehood agitation,” said GNLF Darjeeling convener MG Subba adding, “Unlike the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, the DGHC has constitutional guarantee and is more powerful.” The GNLF observed its Accord Day in a subdued manner as has been the case ever since 2008 when the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha emerged as the dominant political force in Darjeeling and took over power. The GNLF wants a revival of the DGHC until the Sixth Schedule status is granted to the Darjeeling hills. Subba said, “Our chief Subash Ghisingh has already taken up the issue with the Central government and the Bill to the effect is also lying pending in Parliament. 

We believe all the problems of the hills can only be solved when we achieve the Sixth Schedule status.” Once again, Ghisingh stood out conspicuously given his absence in such an eventful programme. Despite this, GNLF Kalimpong general secretary Anil Lopchan said: “What needed to be done regarding our demand has already been accomplished by the party president. His silence must not be construed as inactivity. Our president will only speak when the time is right and this will create headaches for the central government.” After his homecoming to Darjeeling on March 19 of this year, Ghisingh has not made public appearances, except once on June 22 when he came out to greet supporters gathered outside his residence. That day, he did say “he was not finished” and he would speak when the time was right. Meanwhile, GNLF leaders said it is high time for the GJM to step back as it has failed miserably in achieving a separate state even after a prolonged agitation. “Our party is not finished as is being propagated by the GJM these days. We had just given them a free hand. 

But now, the Morcha should bow down and give us an opportunity to achieve our aspirations,” said Manjila Tamang, town committee president of the Gorkha National Women’s Organisation (GNWO). To strengthen the party, the GNLF said it would also start a membership drive and organise political programmes in the hills. The GNLF also observed the 26th DGHC Accord Day in Kurseong by holding a public meeting at the Monteviot ground. The speakers emphasised on the constitutional guarantee of the DGHC and demanded its immediate revival. The speakers also stressed the need to implement the Sixth Schedule status. GNLF leaders also criticised the GJM saying it has betrayed the people in name of a separate Gorkhaland state.” Veteran GNLF leader Durga Pradhan regretted the GJM leadership did not want to acknowledge Subash Ghisingh and consider anything related to him. But they should remember it was under Ghisingh’s guidance that GJM chief Bimal Gurung learned the basics of politics. The GNLF leader further said the GJM has begun demanding tribal status for the Gorkha communities, but it should accept the fact that the demands for Gorkhaland and tribal status were first envisioned by Ghisingh.

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