A delegation of Gorkha representatives comprising of Darjeeling MP Raju Bista, Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM) president Ratna Bahadur Rai, Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) president Mann Ghising, Darjeeling MLA Neeraj Zimba, Kurseong MLA BP Bajgain and Kalyan Dewan of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) met with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss various issues concerning Darjeeling region and issues relating to the recruitment of Gorkha youths in the defence services.
The team highlighted that the online recruitment system is still requiring pass percentage to be confirmed at 33% and urged Minister Singh to get the system updated so that all those who have passed their Madhyamik exams are eligible to apply, irrespective of their percentage of marks scored. They also requested him to increase the frequency of recruitment rallies conducted by Gorkha Recruiting Depot (GRD) Jalapahar, so that more youths from Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars get opportunities to be recruited in the Indian army.
Furthermore, the relaxations for Gorkha youths are only given to those from the GTA region in some branches of armed forces. In this context, the team also requested the Minister to extend these relaxations for all Gorkha youths from Terai, Dooars and rest of India.
"Given the inordinate delay in the establishment of Sainik School in Darjeeling, due to the denial by West Bengal government to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), we have requested Minister for his personal intervention and requested him to take up this issue with the WB Govt," MP Bista stated.
The MP added that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed his 'love and respect for the Gorkha community and acknowledged the stellar role Gorkhas have played in our nation building.' Singh has assured the delegation that he will take necessary action to address the issues they have raised.