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Gorkha janmukti Morcha to hold ‘dharna’ in Delhi on Dec 18 & 19

Darjeeling : The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has firmed up to stage a two-day ‘dharna’ at the Jantar Mantar and hold a public meeting on the third day at the Talkotra Stadium in Delhi to pressurise the central government into considering the demand for a separate state. In this context, GJM president Bimal Gurung had on Sunday asked all the members of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to contribute their salary of two months for the upcoming programme in the national capital. Speaking today on the sidelines of a meeting with the party’s frontal organisations to finalise the programme in Delhi, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said, “We have decided to hold a dharna at the Jantar Mantar on December 18 and 19, which will be followed by a public meeting on December 20 at the Talkotra Stadium. We expect more than 10,000 people from other states to participate.” The three-day programme is in line with the GJM’s strategy of concentrating the statehood agitation in Delhi as that is the place where decisions are finalised. Gurung has already assured the Darjeeling hills would no longer have to witness bandhs and agitations following the renewed statehood agitation in August-September of 2013. 

The GJM general secretary added the GTA sabhasads are to pool in their two months’ salary and also ensure they take along two persons each to Delhi and bear the expenses from their pockets. This apart, municipality commissioners have been instructed to take along one individual from their respective wards, while the party will fund 10 people from each constituency. Giri further said the newly-appointed 269 high school and 630 primary school teachers have been instructed to attend the three-day event. “We have asked high school and primary school teachers to participate in the Delhi programme as members of our frontal organisations will also be attending,” he said. It was also decided in today’s meeting that the GTA information and culture department will organise the ‘Phulpati Shobha Yatra’, an important cultural event leading up to the ‘Dasai’ festival that falls on October 3 this year. 

 “We don’t want to burden people with the expenses for conducting the Phulpati Sobha Yatra programme and this is why the party has decided to organise it. At the same time, we will not interfere in other activities that are part of the festival,” noted Giri. Meanwhile, the GTA will host the month-long ‘Darjeeling Cultural and Tourism Festival’ in the three sub-divisions including the foothills of Mirik from October 8 to November 9. “The month-long event will focus on showcasing the rich culture and traditions of the hills to tourists from near and far. It is imperative we preserve and safeguard our culture as it is in the wane,” said Giri. The GJM will also celebrate the party’s seventh foundation day on October 7 all across the hills with the main programme scheduled in Darjeeling sub-division. 

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