I didn’t go to Darjeeling on my own: Ghisingh

February 23rd, 2008 - 8:23 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, Feb 23 (IANS) Hounded out of the Darjeeling hills in West Bengal by his rivals, beleaguered Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) leader Subhas Ghisingh Saturday said it was his decision not to go to the hill station as he did not want to incite any trouble. “It was nothing significant. I didn’t go to Darjeeling to avoid any trouble,” Ghisingh told reporters here when asked about the blockade put up by rival Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters to prevent his entry.

“Actually, I wanted to rest for some time at Pintail village near Siliguri after my visit to New Delhi and then return to Kolkata to brief the chief minister, the governor and the chief secretary about the likely inclusion of Darjeeling in the sixth schedule,” he said.

The GNLF leader was forced to knock on the chief minister’s door after hundreds of GJM supporters confined him to Pintail village, a resort 3 km from Siliguri, for five days since his return from national capital Feb 18 after holding talks with the central government.

Ghisingh, who is also the caretaker administrator of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), described his meeting with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee here Saturday as “positive”.

“We discussed several things, particularly about the possible inclusion of Darjeeling in the sixth schedule during the next session of parliament,” he said.

Asked about the opposition faced by his party in the hills, he said: “GNLF isn’t finished yet. We still have the required strength. On any given day, we can fill up the whole of Kolkata with our supporters.”

Asked about the demands for his resignation from the post of DGHC administrator, Ghisingh said: “The post of administrator will be dissolved once an interim council is in place.”

GJM has crippled life in the three sub-divisions of Darjeeling district since Feb 20 along with an economic blockade since Feb 17 demanding a separate statehood and immediate sacking of Ghising as the caretaker administrator of DGHC.

GJM is opposed to sixth schedule status for Darjeeling - which envisages greater autonomy - and instead demands a separate state.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) patriarch Jyoti Basu Friday said the GNLF chief has lost the confidence of his own party.

Basu said Ghisingh had become “weak with his own party men going against him”.

Basu said Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is closely monitoring the situation and was in touch with New Delhi.

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