GJM Bimal Gurung attend oath taking ceremony of Narendra Modi.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung and four other top party members were today invited to the swearing-in ceremony of prime minister designate Narendra Modi and to a private dinner later in the evening hosted by the President.

Bimal Gurung and Pawan Chamling on oath taking ceremony of Shri Narendra Modi.
Bimal Gurung and Pawan Chamling on oath taking ceremony of Shri Narendra Modi.

Speaking over phone from Delhi where the GJM leaders are camped since the past few days, party assistant secretary Binay Tamang said, “Yes, we have been invited to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony as the 15th prime minister of the country at the Rashtrapati Bhawan and we are on our way.”

It is learnt that the GJM president has been allotted a VVIP pass and will be sitting alongside NDA alliance members including Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa among several other visiting heads of states. The remaining four GJM leaders, party general secretary Roshan Giri and central committee leaders Jyoti Kumar Rai and Swaraj Thapa along with Tamang will occupy the tenth row.

The dinner to be hosted subsequently by President Pranab Mukherjee at the ‘Grey Drawing Room’ of the Rashtrapati Bhawan will see dignitaries from Russia, Norway, the Ukraine, Nepal and Australia, among others along with Modi’s cabinet not to forget Gurung.

“Only our party president has been invited for the President’s dinner but it is a big occasion for us nonetheless,” said Tamang.

Political observers pointed out that the “occasion” (invitation to the ceremony and dinner) indicates the Darjeeling hills and its people have at last been “assimilated” into the country’s mainstream.

“Of course, the occasion is huge and a matter of pride to be invited to such a prestigious occasion.

If I am correct, this is first time that a representative from the Darjeeling hills is participating in a world event,” an observer said.

The GJM assistant secretary echoed similar sentiments saying the invitation to the swearing-in ceremony and the dinner heralded a new beginning for the hills.

“It is a fantastic feeling to be able to be part of such a big event that is being watched by the entire world. We are overwhelmed by the respect shown to us as such a move had never come to pass before. We feel having close access to the prime minister will augur well for the hills in the days to come,” said Tamang.

The GJM leader, however, refused to comment on BJP leader Surendra Singh Ahluwalia, the new MP from Darjeeling, on not being given a cabinet berth.

“We have nothing to say on this,” said Tamang. The GJM, after the thumping win of the BJP candidate from Darjeeling in the Lok Sabha election, had pinned hope on Ahluwalia getting an important portfolio in the Cabinet to take forward the statehood demand as the Morcha had primarily extended support to the BJP with this objective.

The GJM delegation will return home a couple of days after Modi’s oath-taking ceremony and organise victory rallies to celebrate Ahluwalia’s victory.

Source: EOI

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