Closed tea garden issue forces cadres to join GJMM

The CPI-M is in for a jolt. Even as the party launched a campaign against the Gorkhaland cry in the district yesterday, its Samsing unit in the Dooars has revolted against the party leadership. The unit leader, Mr Rajen Lohar, along with 90 CPI-M activists has deserted the party to join the GJMM citing the CPI-M’s failure to reopen the locked out tea plantations of the Dooars.

Mr Lohar claimed today that he and 90 others went to Garubathan to meet the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha president, Mr Bimal Gurung, and joined his party. “Several years have passed since the closure of the tea plantations in the Dooars but neither the Centre nor the CPI-M led state government succeeded in opening those while the workers, who are mostly of Adivasi stock, suffer. We met the district CPI-M leaders several times on the issue but to no avail. The GJMM is fighting for our issues and so we decided to support them leaving the CPI-M,” he said.

The new entrants organised a procession from the Samsing Tea Estate to Meteli Bazaar today.

“The revolt proves that the tribal people are with us,” said the GJMM chief, Mr Bimal Gurung. “We assured them to fight for their demands and also to work for their development. Their joining us proves the tribal are withdrawing support from the CPI-M,” he added.

The CPI-M leadership is still hopeful it can stem the rot. “I have heard of the development and have sought a meeting with Mr Lohar tomorrow. I am sure the problem can be solved,” said the CPI-M Jalpaiguri district secretary Mr Manik Sanyal.

From: The Statesman