Darjeeling, 10 Mar 2014: The Limbus, who are demanding a development board for their community on the lines of the Lepcha Development Board, has announced their decision of boycotting the Lok Sabha election this time.
Speaking over phone from Kalimpong, Yakthung Shong Chumlung president ND Limbu confirmed the decision. He said, “Our association held a meeting on Sunday and it was attended by members from the hills and also from the plains of the Terai and Dooars. Prioritising our demand for a separate development board that has gone unheard so far, we have decided to boycott the LS election this time.”
The Limbu community was granted Scheduled Tribe status in 2003 and has a population of more than 1.5 lakh in the hills alone, while another 10,000 are estimated to be living in the Dooars, Siliguri and Salua.
The YSC chief lamented the fact that in spite of repeated requests and submissions to the state government, nothing concrete had materialized yet.
“We have submitted memorandums to the state government and even personally to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on several occasions. But we have not got any assurance or response till now. With no alternative before us, we have been forced to take the decision to boycott the elections,” said Limbu.
The association president maintained that the association had submitted a memorandum with a demand for forming a development board to the chief minister during her visit to Kurseong on October 23 last year.
It is to be noted that the state government issued a notice to the Tamang Youth Association (TYA) on March 1 apprising the association of its approval for setting up a Tamang Development and Cultural Board.
However, confusion has cropped up among other seekers of similar development boards on the state government’s letter in para-3, which reads: “…this board will also carry out the above activities in respect of other communities as may be notified from time to time”.
Apart from demanding a development council, the Limbu community also wants the Limbu language to be taught across primary school in the hills. The YSC contends a development board would help in preserving and promoting the language, culture, tradition and economic progress of Limbus settled in the country. (EOIC)
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