The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha president plays down Gurung’s relevance in Darjeeling Hill politics
Eastern Times , Kolkata: Who is Bimal Gurung? Gurung chapter is closed” was Binoy Tamang’s reaction at the press conference after his meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
On Tuesday the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) president claimed that at the meeting with the CM only Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) matters were discussed.
Besides the CM and Tamang, West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, GTA chairperson Anit Thapa and GTA principal secretary Surendra Gupta attended the 45-minute meeting at Nabanna.
On Tuesday too the Darjeeling hills echoed with anti-Gurung sentiments. Citing the rising number of rallies against Gurung, the Tamang faction of GJM claims the irrelevance of Gurung in Hill politics.
Binoy Tamang had reached Kolkata on Monday. On Tuesday Tamang and others reached Nabanna at around 2.45 pm. In the morning too Tamang had criticized Bimal Gurung. That tune was replayed at the evening’s press conference.
Saying that the anti-Gurung rallies reflect the popular mood, Binoy Tamang said: “So many people are taking part in anti-Gurung rallies. People don’t want Bimal Gurung. For the past three years there has been peace in the Hills and people want that to prevail. Gurung is a fugitive. What relevance does he have? The Gurung chapter is over in the Hills.”
Bimal Gurung’s surprise resurfacing on October 20 caught many by surprise. His announcement that he was willing to form an alliance with Trinamool Congress (TMC) had sent shockwaves across the Hills.
Asked about the TMC tweet welcoming Gurung, Binoy Tamang said: “Have you heard any [TMC] leader welcoming him?”
Though the Tamang faction may play down the relevance of Gurung in Hill politics, they know very well that ahead of the assembly elections next year Gurung can slowly claw back his clout.