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AIGL (Bharati) ups pressure on Bista

“The list of issues that will be discussed in the monsoon session of Parliament has come out, and it is unfortunate that no issue of the Gorkhas has been mentioned there. Recently, tribal status to different communities was granted in Arunachal Pradesh, but the MP has not done anything regarding the demand for tribal status for 11 different communities here,” AIGL general secretary SP Sharma said.

SNS | Darjeeling |

The All India Gorkha League (Bharati Tamang faction) today threatened to stage an indefinite hunger strike to mount pressure on Darjeeling MP Raju Bista to take up the statehood issue with the Centre. The AIGL has been pressuring Mr Bista to “actually work” since early this month with them putting up posters here, demanding that he “either work on the demand for Gorkhaland or resign as the MP.”

“The list of issues that will be discussed in the monsoon session of Parliament has come out, and it is unfortunate that no issue of the Gorkhas has been mentioned there. Recently, tribal status to different communities was granted in Arunachal Pradesh, but the MP has not done anything regarding the demand for tribal status for 11 different communities here,” AIGL general secretary SP Sharma said.

“The alliance political parties also remaining quiet on this matter further raises questions on their sincerity and on what basis they had supported the BJP during the elections,” he said, adding that the alliance parties should also mount pressure on Mr Bista.

Maintaining that half the term of Mr Bista had already gone by, he said, “The monsoon session of parliament is starting tomorrow and ending on 13 August. To pressure the MP, we are starting a twoday dharna from 1 August and if we get no reply from him or his allied parties, then will start an indefinite hunger strike.”

Mr Sharma also said that they hoped that political parties or organisations which were taking up the statehood demand would lend their support to their programme.

“An agitation in Delhi does not mean doing it on the streets, but in the Parliament. We want to send across a clear message to Bista that our issue should be highlighted in the national media, whether by him by raising the issue in Parliament, or by him resigning if he cannot do that. The third way of doing it is through our hunger strike and he should choose by which way the issue should be highlighted,” said Mr Sharma.

The AIGL leader also said that TMC Rajya Sabha MP, Shanta Chettri, should also highlight the issue. “We do not know what her opinion on Gorkhaland is or do not want to speak on her party’s stand on it, but as a representative of this place, it is her duty to raise the issue when someone in her area is on hunger strike,” Mr Sharma said.