AFTER RETURNING to Darjeeling hills after three-and-a-half years, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) general secretary Roshan Giri said that the BJP only fooled the people of the Hills in the past 15 years.
Addressing party workers in Kurseong, Giri asserted that this time, the GJM would support TMC to elect Mamata Banerjee as the Chief Minister for the third straight time.
“The BJP fooled the people of the Hills for 15 years. They did not keep the promises made to the people. We are not with them anymore. We will support the TMC now and the people of the Hills will support the TMC in 2021 Assembly polls to elect Mamata Banerjee as CM for the third time,” said Giri. He said GJM president Bimal Gurung would land in Siliguri on December 6 and will address a public meet.
Before the meeting on Sunday, a rally was taken out from Kurseong Tourist Lodge. The rally was also attended by GJM youth wing leader Dipen Malay, who returned to the Darjeeling Hills after nearly three years in hiding.
Giri and Gurung, who had been absconding since 2017 after they were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in connection with a grenade attack at Kalimpong Police Station and explosion in Darjeeling’s Chowk Bazaar area in 2017 when Gurung had orchestrated a 104-day shutdown in the Darjeeling hills demanding separate statehood.
A separate state of Gorkhaland has been a long-standing demand of Gorkhas living in the Darjeeling hills.
In his first public appearance in three years, Gurung in October announced breaking of ties with the NDA, saying the BJP-led Central government did not fulfil its promise of Gorkhaland. He also extended his party’s support to the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC for the 2021 Bengal elections and vowed to give a “befitting reply to the BJP for letting the people of the Hills down.”
“In the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, we will extend our support to whoever will support our demand for a separate state. People are not with Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa faction of the party. They are with Bimal Gurung. You will be able to see the huge support when Gurung comes to the Hills,” said Giri.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the “turncoat” (Gurung) had “betrayed the people of Darjeeling”. “Bimal Gurung has betrayed the people in the Hills and the Binoy Tamang faction has no acceptability. The BJP has all along stood by the people there,” he said.
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