Bimal Gurung announced fresh Gorkhaland agitation without strike

Statehood cry without shutdown – No strikes in Darjeeling, says Gurung, and welcomes Puja tourists.
Writes Rajeev Ravidas

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung today announced a fresh round of agitation for Gorkhaland but promised there would be no strikes so that tourists could visit the hills in the Pujas.

Addressing a public meeting organised by the Yuva Morcha, the party’s youth wing, at the Mela Ground here, Gurung said: ” I am always for Gorkhaland. I will take out a padayatra from Kalimpong to Darjeeling from October 2.”

The Morcha president has more than once said the agitation would be democratic in nature.

“We will stay away from strikes during this agitation. We will fight in Delhi, not in Bengal. Tourists are welcome (to the hills),” he said.

Gurung said the Morcha would also extend hundred per cent support to the programme announced by the Yuva Morcha.

Bimal Gurung in Kalimpong announced fresh Gorkhaland agitation without strike
Bimal Gurung in Kalimpong announced fresh Gorkhaland agitation without strike

Speaking earlier at the meeting, Yuva Morcha secretary Priyavardhan Rai had announced three programmes, awareness campaign on Gorkhaland in every corner of the hills from October 8 to 15, torch rally between 5pm and 7pm on every Thursday from October 8 and writing graffiti in support of the separate state in different parts of the hills from tomorrow.

Gurung said the party would also organise protests meetings in Delhi during the winter session of Parliament in November and December. “Sixty-seventy thousand people from the hills will converge in Delhi during the winter session of Parliament in November-December. The Nari Morcha will hold protest for five days and the student wing will protest for three days in Delhi. The Yuva Morcha will also participate in the meetings,” he said.

Gurung, however, cautioned the state government against disrupting the peaceful agitation. “If Mamata Banerjee creates obstacles, people will take to the streets,” he warned.

Observers said the Morcha was keeping away from strikes so that it does not to antagonise the people, including tourism stakeholders, in view of the ensuing tourism season and school examinations. The hills have two tourist seasons: from March to May and from October to November. The academic session of schools in the hills is from February-March to November-December.

“The Morcha cannot afford to antagonise the people at a time questions are being murmured about the party’s hold in the hills. The tourism season is very crucial for the economy of the hills, and the Morcha will not earn any friends if it takes to disruptive agitation during that period. November is also the time when schools begin their annual examinations, and large community of parents and students will not take kindly to strife at that time,” said an observer.

A prominent hotelier in Darjeeling welcomed the Morcha’s decision to keep away from strike. “Bookings for the season are yet to pick up perhaps because of apprehension of an agitation. Today’s announcement should put to rest all such fears, and I expect the bookings to go up now,” said the hotelier, who wished not to be named.

The last time the Morcha had organised the statehood movement was in 2013. Soon after the UPA had given green light for the creation of Telangana, the Morcha announced the agitation that stretched from the July-end to September, affecting the tourism season that year.

Gurung seemed to be pleased with today’s turnout of about 10,000 to 12,000 people at the meeting, which was billed as the Morcha’s show of strength in the wake of resignations of senior leaders Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Trilok Dewan from the party recently. , who is the chief executive of the GTA, ruled out resigning as the chief executive of the GTA. “Trinamul is hoping that I will quit so that it could take over the GTA. Why should I please them and quit. Am I a fool?” he asked.

He also lashed out at the chief minister, accusing her of dividing the hill communities in an effort to defeat the demand for Gorkhaland. “Gorkhaland will happen during her lifetime,” he said to thunderous applause of the crowd.

Gurung also took a swipe at Chhetri without naming him, saying it was better to have truck with a layman than intellectuals.

“I wanted the man to teach me coma and full stop, but the man has disappeared. I don’t know where,” he said.

Earlier speakers at the meeting were more vocal than Gurung in lambasting Chhetri.

Source Telegraph

Share this:

Copyright © 2024 Indian Gorkhas Designed by Darjeeling Web Solutions