GJM looking for positive change in Darjeeling hills

Kolkata: With the Trinamool Congress-led combine at the helm in West Bengal, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is expecting a positive change in the attitude of the government towards its statehood demand.

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said that people had voted overwhelmingly for its candidates in the three hill sub-divisions only to facilitate realisation of their goal of a separate state in Darjeeling.

"We have only one agenda and that is a separate state for the people of the hills and the people have voted for us to achieve that only," Giri told PTI over phone.

The newly-elected MLA from Kalimpong, Harkabahadur Chhetri, said not only its three candidates had won the election, but an independent, backed by GJM, from Kalchini also made it to the Assembly.

"The verdict of the people is very clear that the people of the hills want a separate state and so the newly elected government should work in that direction to honour the wishes of the people," Chetri said.

Asked about their perception of the new government, Chetri said, "The Left Front government was very much opposed to a separate state and they wanted to suppress the voices of people, but we are hopeful that Mamata will give proper honour to our demands," Chetri said.

Asked if they are allowed to raise their voices in the Assembly, Chetri said, "It is not the time to speculate.

Rather, we will have work together for the proper formation of the state and we are hopeful that Mamata Banerjee will understand the sentiment in the hills."

"She coined the slogan `poriborton` or change, and so she should translate her slogan into reality and in the hills the people are eagerly waiting for the change," Chetri said.

Three GJM candidates Trilok Kumar Dewan, Harkabahadur Chhetri and Rohit Sharma won from Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong respectively and another independent candidate Wilson Champamary, supported by GJM, won from Kalchini constituency.