‘Ma­mata is out to di­vide the hill peo­ple’

India Today - - STATES -

Gorkha Jan­mukti Mor­cha chief Bi­mal Gu­rung has again given the call for Gorkha­land. In­tent on con­fronting Ma­mata Ban­er­jee (with help from Delhi), he has an­nounced a shut­down in the hills. Ex­cerpts from an in­ter­view with Romita Datta.

Q. Have you sought the Cen­tre’s in­ter­ven­tion?

A. I have writ­ten to the PM, de­mand­ing pres­i­dent’s rule in the hills to end Ma­mata’s au­toc­racy. If a state gov­ern­ment has to take the army’s help to bring the sit­u­a­tion un­der con­trol, it’s shame­ful. The new GTA com­mit­tee will only be formed un­der pres­i­dent’s rule as the state po­lice have turned into TMC cadre.

Q. But Ma­mata has ruled out tri­par­tite talks.

A. The GTA was formed on the ba­sis of a tri­par­tite agree­ment, in­clud­ing the Cen­tre. Ma­mata is over­rul­ing its ba­sic prin­ci­ples. She’s formed 17 boards for the dif­fer­ent hill com­mu­ni­ties, giv­ing them sops, try­ing to break the hill peo­ple’s unity. But our call for Gorkha­land will unite us.

Q. How can you jus­tify the vi­o­lence over the op­tional in­clu­sion of Ben­gali in hill schools?

A. We don’t want Ben­gali even as an op­tional sub­ject. Why bur­den our stu­dents who are al­ready learn­ing Nepali as mother tongue, Hindi and Eng­lish?

Q. Ma­mata says you’re frus­trated be­cause the gov­ern­ment is au­dit­ing GTA ac­counts.

A. The GTA was au­dited once in 2016 and twice in 2017. No one found any­thing amiss. Why doesn’t she au­dit the crores her party got from Saradha, Narada and Rose Val­ley?

Q. TMC says you’re ner­vous about Ma­mata’s vis­its to the hills. A. She’s been here 35 times. She comes to di­vide the hill peo­ple, pit­ting one com­mu­nity against another. We won’t let it hap­pen. Gorkha­land will unite us.

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