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GJM asks GTA sabhasads to forsake 2 month’s salary

Darjeeling : The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha passed a resolution for staging dharnas and a meeting in Delhi in November-end to press for the statehood demand. Following the party’s central committee meeting in Darjeeling, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri announced, “The meeting today that was chaired by our party president saw a decision being made to stage dharnas for two days at Jantar Mantar to pressurise the central government into seriously consider our statehood demand. This will be followed by a public meeting the venue for which will be announced at a later date.” In a public announcement on September 5, GJM president Bimal Gurung had said he was not interested in engaging in politics over petty issues and that the next five years was crucial in achieving a separate state given “our friends” (the BJP) who is at the helm of the country’s affairs. After last year’s new round of agitation, Gurung had also assured there would be no bandhs henceforth in the Darjeeling hills and all statehood-related programmes would be concentrated in Delhi where things happen. 

Meantime, Giri said more than 10,000 supporters including GJM unit leaders from the hills as well as from other states will be invited to participate in the agitation. “We will ask all our unit leaders in other states to attend the dharna and public meeting that is slated for November-end or the first week of December,” he said, adding a decision would be soon taken on how many supporters from each constituency of the three hill sub-divisions would be asked to head to the national capital. For this purpose, the party leadership has asked the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration sabhasads to contribute their salary of two months. “We do not want to cause inconvenience to our supporters and this is why we have asked GTA members to contribute for the two programme in Delhi,” announced Giri after a marathon meeting. The GTA Sabha comprises 50 members of whom 45 are elected and five nominated. The GTA chief executive gets a salary (honorarium) of Rs50,000, while his deputy gets Rs45,000. All other elected members receive Rs25,000 as monthly honorarium while executive members get Rs30,000. This apart, the GTA chairman receives and additional Rs40,000 and his deputy Rs35,000. 

As for the five nominated members, their monthly honorarium is Rs10,000. The day’s meeting also decided that any central committee leader who abstains from attending three consecutive meetings would be expelled from the party. “We will first give a show-cause notice to the defaulter and then expel him. This measure is imperative as we want the party to remain disciplined as its leaders bear the responsibility to lead by example,” Giri said. And as part of the strategy to strengthen the party, the Darjeeling town GJM committee was dissolved today. “We have handed the responsibility to the Darjeeling sub-divisional committee to take care of party activities till a new town committee is formed,” added Giri. The GJM has also decided to host a grand celebration in Darjeeling sub-division during the party’s seventh foundation day on October 7. Similar programmes, but low-key ones, will be organised in Kalimpong and Kurseong sub-divisions too.

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