Will never ask for votes in name of Gorkhaland: Thapa

Will never ask for votes in name of Gorkhaland: Thapa

Darjeeling: Leading a 'Parivartan Yatra' (March for change) to end violence in the Hills, GJM General Secretary Anit Thapa on Saturday said he would never ask for votes in the name of Gorkhaland.

"Gorkhaland is our mother. Do not allow her to be auctioned during elections. We will never ask for votes in the name of Gorkhaland. We will never indulge in politics of deceit," he said.

The 16 km-long march commenced from Sonada and culminated in a public meeting at the Darjeeling Motor Stand. Addressing the large gathering, Thapa — who resides in Kurseong — challenged Bimal Gurung. "From today, I will reside in Darjeeling. Let me see how you throw me out," he said.

Incidentally, Gurung in his speech a week ago in Darjeeling stated that Thapa and Binoy Tamang should leave the Hills.

"The politics of violence and intimidation needs to change in the Hills. We need to engage in realistic politics rather than politics of emotion. Gorkhaland has been traded in lieu of votes time and again. In the 1980s, GNLF launched a violent agitation for Gorkhaland with hundreds of martyrs that ended in the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. Again in 2007, the GJM launched a Gorkhaland agitation, spearheaded by Bimal Gurung that ended in GTA. This is the change that we want to bring. We will never launch an agitation and make martyrs just for getting us a chair," stated Thapa.

He stated that BJP remembers Gorkhas and Gorkhaland only during elections. "Don't allow the BJP to play with your sentiments and trick you all again," stated Thapa.

He stated that regional politics needed to be kept alive in the Hills. "We have not lied. It is an open fact that we work hand-in-hand with the State Government. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has given a State University to the Hills. She has given us a Covid Hospital when we needed one. She has given appointments to teachers and in the forest department. These are facts" stated Thapa.

Thapa gave a clarion call to the politically displaced supporters of Gurung. "We respect you as you had to flee your homes owing to the Gorkhaland agitation. However, you have chosen to follow a wrong leader. Very soon you will be betrayed by him for his own selfish gains. Our door is always open for you all," assured Thapa.

He stated that the GJM (Binoy) was working for peace, development, employment generation and Patta (land documents) in the Hills. "We are preparing the ground work and creating infrastructure for Gorkhaland. The intellectuals have to take it forward," he added.

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