Siliguri: Mann Ghisingh, the president of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), has sprung a surprise by resigning from the state-government constituted Hill Area Development Committee (HADC) with immediate effect.
He has also demanded that the state government should resume bipartite dialogue with the political and civil society groups from the Hills for finding a “long-lasting credible political solution to the chronic political crisis of Darjeeling.”
Mann was the chairman of HADC set up in November last year with the explicit purpose of “supervising the development works” in Darjeeling Hills. In reality, it was a move to end the hegemony of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in the hills politics.
But in less than a year, Mann has today sent his resignation to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with copies marked to the Governor and the state home secretary.
He has mentioned that due to “various reasons” HADC has failed to live up to its mandate.
“GNLF firmly believes in finding a long-lasting credible political solution to the chronic political crisis of Darjeeling Hills as providing an economic solution will not solve the problems of the long-suffering Gorkhas of Darjeeling. I request you to give continuity to the bi-partite process to resolve the issues that meet the aspiration of the Hills people,” Mann has stated in the one-page letter.
The move is part of GNLF’s plan to revive the demand for inclusion of Darjeeling Hills in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution that guarantees greater autonomy and fewer interfaces from the state government.
Mann’s father late Subash Ghisingh had almost achieved the goal in 2005 but had to abort because of revolt in the Hills. The demand has now been revived on a day when GNLF observed Ghisingh’s birth anniversary and even Mamata Banerjee tweeted her remembrance.
Talking reporters in Kurseong during the day, Mann said that only Sixth Schedule can meet the socio-political aspirations of Darjeeling. Gorkhaland Territorial Administration or any other body set up under the state government cannot be an answer to the long-lasting political demand, he said.