Bimal Gurung confident on Gorkhaland, slams Gautam Deb

Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung is confident the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland will resume on a positive note once the new government at the Centre settles and starts functioning smoothly within the next two to three months. At the same time, he warned NBDD minister Gautam Deb against using “rowdies” with money power to spread violence in the Darjeeling hills.

Bimal Gurung at Bagdogra airport on Wednesday.
Bimal Gurung at Bagdogra airport on Wednesday.

Talking to the media this afternoon at Bagdogra airport after returning from New Delhi, Gurung said, “We had gone to Delhi to discuss the Gorkhaland issue and we interacted with high profile leaders of the BJP, RSS and other NDA partners. All of them are well-versed with the demand for Gorkhaland and we reminded them of it once again.”

The GJM chief added things are moving ahead as envisaged and he foresees no haste as a new government has just been formed. “We need to wait until everything gets settled and the government starts to function smoothly. We will visit New Delhi again and hold talks with the leaders there.”

Before heading to the capital to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the prime minister and his cabinet, Gurung had said he is hopeful of Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia getting a ministerial berth.

He had said, “Ahluwalia is a senior leader of the BJP; in fact he is the party’s vice-president, and was the party in-charge of the northeastern states during the Lok Sabha polls. I am confident he will get a ministerial berth.”

When reporters put up this question before him today, Gurung replied the Union Cabinet will see an expansion within the next three months during which Ahluwalia is sure to get a portfolio.

Talking about the state government’s commitment to withdraw old cases against GJM leaders and cadres and provide further facilities to the GTA, Gurung said as the BJP is in power now and the GJM is a constituent of the NDA government, everything will be examined properly, and if necessary, his party will knock on the doors of the high court and the Supreme Court to seek justice.

The GJM chief also clearly stated the hills will not have to endure with bandhs any more and the GTA will work to maintain peace and tranquility and engage in development works for the welfare of the general public.

Asked to comment on whether the GJM and the state government are in any conflict, Gurung said, “We had gone to New Delhi on the invitation of the BJP and if the state government reacts negatively to this, it is not our headache. The GTA will carry on with its development works and it is the state government’s responsibility to send the necessary funds.”

The GJM chief was accompanied by his wife Asha Gurung, general secretary Roshan Giri and other party leaders.


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