Our fight is against centre, not Bengal: GJM

Darjeeling, Sep 1 (IANS) Accusing the West Bengal government of playing "dirty politics", the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Sunday asserted that its fight was against the central government and it would not compromise on its demand for a separate Gorkhaland.

"Gorkhaland is not for me but for all, most importantly the youth of Darjeeling. Bengal is playing dirty politics and we must not be scared. They are pointing guns at us but we fight them with the might of the pen," GJM supremo Bimal Gurung said here.

Observing that the autonomous Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) was an "interim arrangement", Gurung said the GTA accord was signed without dropping the demand for Gorkhaland.

"When we signed the GTA agreement, the central government said that they don't have the mandate to give us a state, so take GTA on temporary basis. But within a year the centre declared Telengana. So it must also declare Gorkhaland with Telengana," said Gurung, adding that his "fight was against the central government and not Bengal".

The GTA was created July 18, 2011, via a tripartite agreement signed between the Gorkha outfit and the state and central governments.

Gurung said that he would not entertain any other arrangement other than Gorkhaland.

With the Mamata Banerjee government cracking down on the separatist movement and arresting hundreds of GJM activists, including its key leaders, Gurung accused the state government of "playing rough".

"Our opposition is dangerous and if they play rough that does not mean we play rough. We should not hide and we must face the agitation. Our agitation is a democratic agitation which will be non-violent. We will soon start a cultural agitation," said Gurung whose GJM Aug 3 began an intensified separatist movement in the Darjeeling hills following the UPA's endorsement of a separate Telangana.

Asserting that the GJM was not against education, Gurung asked all schools to "discuss the Gorkhaland issue in the morning assembly as students must understand the relevance of the demand".

The GJM also announced a "ghar bahira janata" Sep 2 and 3 and a "Janta Sadak Ma" programmes from Sep 4.

Gurung took a dig at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is slated to attend a Lepcha community programme in Kalimpong Monday, offering his best wishes to her.

"Best wishes to Mamata Banerjee and her programme in Kalimpong where she is bringing people from Dooars to make it a success," he said.

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