Kolkata: In the wake of the pro-Gorkhaland GJM threatening for a “bloodied” agitation, West Bengal’s opposition parties have asked the state government to tread cautiously and sought an all party meeting on the issue.
Expressing concern over the developments, leader of the opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra Wednesday appealed both to the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and the Mamata Banerjee government to “exercise restraint” so that the situation does not take an unfortunate turn.
“We would urge the chief minister (Banerjee) to have a more cautious approach on this sensitive manner. It would have been better had she not made unnecessary provocations,” Mishra said here.
Calling for an “intensified movement”, the GJM Wednesday warned of “violence and bloodbath” if their demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland was not met.
“What will they do? Get the police to fire on us? If that be, we are ready to die,” GJM chief Bimal Gurung said, adding: “If there be riots, violence and bloodbath, we are ready for it. But we will not sell our conscience.”
Mishra also said the “honeymoon” between Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and the GJM is over.
“It is surprising that the state government is firm on issues on which it should remain soft, while it had been soft in dealing with issues it should have dealt firmly,” Mishra said, referring to the “hurried setting up” of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) – a hill council armed with more powers than its predecessor, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, formed in the late 1980s.
Accusing the Banerjee government of denying the people of the hills the “self-rule” promised in the GTA, Mishra said it was not the chief minister’s “prerogative to make announcements and dole out sops in the region”.
“The state government should hold discussions with all parties including GJM on this issue,” he said.
Meanwhile the Congress too echoed the need for an all-party discussion on the issue.
“It is not the problem concerning only the state government or any political party but a problem concerning the people of the state,” state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya said.