PRADIP LOHAGUN, KALIMPONG, 25 Feb 2014: The proposal to form a National Gorkha Council by CK Shrestha, founder of the Gorkha Bharati Vichar Mancha, at a function recently held in Guwahati, has attracted mixed reactions from several political and non-political groups.
Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh president Enos Das Pradhan said the nature of the proposed council is still not clear. He said the BGP has been fighting for ensuring the security and identity of Gorkhas at the national level.
“The policies and activities of the Vichar Mancha are unclear. The organisation was in favour of the Congress in the previous election and this time it has come up with a new proposal. We are doubtful about its intention,” said Pradhan.
Further opposing the idea of a National Gorkha Council, Pradhan maintained only the formation of a Gorkhaland state can solve the problem of identity. He accused the Vichar Mancha of trying to suppress the popularity of the BGP with the new proposal.
“Why do they need another national level association when the BGP is already there? It is only to create confusion. We strongly condemn the proposal of Shrestha,” said the BGP president.
Similarly, Pratap Khati of the Gorkha League also opposed the idea of a National Gorkha Council. He said the Vichar Mancha has proposed such a body in a state of excitement that has been fuelled by the formation of Telangana. Khati also supported Pradhan and said that the only solution for the identity problem of the Gorkhas is a Gorkhaland state.
CPRM youth leader Arun Ghatani also rebutted Shrestha’s proposal saying it is only meant to hoodwink people at a time when a new state is being created by the Centre.
“We are not sure about its nature. We cannot trust a new outfit at this point of time,” said Ghatani.
Further, GJM spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chettri too said that the formation of a Gorkhaland state or Union Territory only will fulfill the aspirations of the Gorkhas. He declined commenting on the proposal tabled by Shrestha.
Meanwhile, People’s Forum secretary Pravin Gurung has welcomed the proposal and extended his support. He said, “The idea needs extensive discussion. We should not oppose it without understanding it properly. Everyone knows the outcome of opposing the Sixth Schedule without understanding it properly.”
In the meantime, Shrestha said as the problems being faced by the Gorkhas needs national attention, the solution should also be sought at the national level. He said the agitation for statehood has always remained restricted to the Darjeeling hills and regional parties have remained confined to indulging in local politics. Shrestha added he will soon speak about the nature and concept of the National Gorkha Council.
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