Gurung to meet UPA, NDA leaders over Gorkhaland demand

January 6th, 2009 - 11:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiSiliguri (West Bengal), Jan 6 (IANS) A team of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) activists, led by Morcha president Biman Gurung, is in the national capital for talks with the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the main opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders over demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.”A six-member team, led by Gurung, went to New Delhi Monday to have a political dialogue with the top UPA and NDA leadership over the Gorkhaland demand,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said at Salugara Tuesday.

According to GJM sources, Gurung will discuss the issue of Gorkhaland with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and senior BJP leader L.K Advani.

“We got appointments with the top UPA and NDA leadership in New Delhi,” GJM press and publicity secretary Binoy Tamang said.

The GJM has been spearheading a movement in the hills for a separate state and also opposing the ‘Sixth Schedule’ status for Darjeeling.

The central government in 2005 announced the Sixth Schedule status to the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF)-led Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), thereby ensuring greater autonomy to the governing body.

But Gurung’s breakaway group, which is opposed to the GNLF, is demanding full statehood.

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