Creation of Telangana has strengthened our case: GJM

Kolkata, Oct 3 (IANS) Welcoming the union cabinet's nod to Telangana, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Thursday said the development has strengthened its case for creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland out of parts of northern West Bengal.

"Of course, this has strengthened our case,"GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told IANS over phone.

The cabinet during the day formally decided to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh to carve out Telangana as India's 29th state.

According to the decision taken in line with the July 30 resolution of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), Telangana will comprise 10 districts with Hyderabad as the joint capital of both states for 10 years.

The GJM is in the forefront of the demand for Gorkhaland, which is wants to be carved out of Darjeeling and parts of Jalpaiguri districts.

Giri said the demand for Gorkhaland was older than Telangana.

"The demand for Gorkhaland was always there. We have been raising it vociferously. The only difference is Telangana has more MPS, which we lack".

The central government has convened tripartite talks Oct 23 on the Gorkhaland issue.

The GJM-led Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC) - a forum of pro-Gorkhaland parties which has been carrying out an intensified movement demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland, Sep 10 suspended its agitation till Oct 20 in deference to the appeal by union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to facilitate tripartite talks.

On July 18, 2011 a tripartite agreement was signed between the Gorkha outfit and the state and central governments creating the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), an autonomous hill council with the GJM at the helm.

However, the GJM has maintained that the GTA was "not autonomous" and said it will be "repealed at an appropriate time".

The GJM stepped up the movement from late July after the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance gave the green light to Telangana.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has taken a stern stand on the Gorkhaland issue and ruled out any division of the state, has been cracking down on the GJM-led movement by deploying central and state security forces and arresting over 1000 Gorkha leaders and activists.

The Gorkhaland movement has left many dead over the past two-and-half decades, besides affecting the region's economy based on tea, timber and tourism.

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