GNLF’s Kalimpong unit lays down conditions to support BJP

Kalimpong, 28 Mar:

The Kalimpong unit of the Gorkha National Liberation Front has decided to support the BJP provided it includes the demand for ‘sixth schedule’ status for the Darjeeling Hills in the national Election Manifesto and promises to pass it in the first Parliamentary session. If it fails to do so, the GNLF unit here will convene another meeting and decide on what to do.

Mauris Kalikothay, a local GNLF leader, informs that GNLF supporters in Kalimpong had put pressure and questioned why GNLF should support the BJP.

It may be mentioned here that the GNLF central committee has united with Bimal faction of Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha and decided to support the Bharatiya Janta Party in the Lok Sabha elections.

The Kalimpong unit somehow seemed unconvinced and there had been whispers about their dissatisfaction, something that Mr Kalikothay has tapped into to resuscitate GNLF’s demand for 6th Schedule status for the Hills.

“It is my responsibility to carry the issue of Sixth Schedule which Subash Ghising has given me. Our supporters were in confusion and wanted a clarification on why we should support the BJP. That is why we organized this session today,” said Mr Kalikothay.

The CPI[M], meanwhile, also supports the 6th Schedule idea and in fact promotes something which offers even more autonomy to the region.

Saman Pathak, the CPI[M] candidate, said as much here today as he sought support for an anti-BJP, anti-TMC support.

CPI[M] would also work on issues of land rights, for linguistic minorities, and the wages of the tea garden workers, he said.