Mann Ghisingh offers prayers at a temple in Rohini on Sunday. Picture by Passang Yolmo
Rohini (Kurseong): GNLF leaders returned to their basics here on Sunday and renewed the political campaign over the demand that the Sixth Schedule status be conferred on the hills.
Conferment of the status would pave the way for achieving the GNLF’s ultimate demand of the separate state, they said.
Party president Mann Ghisingh, who was present at a meeting here, said: “Our key demand is still the Sixth Schedule status. The Sixth Schedule ke marg par Gorkhaland sambhav hain (Sixth Schedule can help us achieve Gorkhaland). This is our belief.”
It was the first public meeting convened by the party after Mann and some other GNLF leaders were put in different posts of the Hill Area Development Committee (HADC) formed by the state.
Mann and some other leaders also took the task of apprising GNLF workers that the committee was an interim arrangement and they were pursuing their demand during the bipartite talks with the state.
“We have heard that there is confusion among some supporters after the HADC has been formed. But we want to make it clear that as I went and attended the meeting at Pintail Village a few days back with the state, we had raised our main demand. The state has formed the committee and has proposed our names as office-bearers. We would, however, assume the charge only after having a clear idea of its power and functions. It is nothing but an interim arrangement and we would never budge from our demand,” said the GNLF president.
He also clarified that the HADC was outside the purview of GTA.
A political observer said the state put the hill party in a tricky situation.
“The GNLF leaders had to assert this clarification to pacify supporters as there were murmurs in the hills that the state has played the strategy of floating the committee to appease them. Unless addressed and clarified, such murmurs would have led to serious repercussions for the party that has started regaining its ground in past four-five months after a gap of almost 10 years,” said the observer.
Ahead of the meeting, Mann and other leaders went to a local temple in Rohini, a tiny hamlet located around 25km from Siliguri where they performed rituals. Around 5,000 people were present at the meeting.
[Via: The Telegraph]