| Puja being performed at the GJM’s new office. Picture by Suman Tamang
Darjeeling, Nov. 8: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) today took over a room at Chowk Bazar here that used to be the GNLF’s party office for the Sadar-II constituency till a few months back.
Dinesh Gurung, the president of the GJM’s Sadar town committee, said: “We needed an office for the town committee and today in the presence of central committee leaders we inaugurated this office.”
The “office” is actually owned by the Darjeeling Pathpasala Sangh (hawkers’ union) and Dinesh is an adviser to the union. The decision of the union’s office bearers to hand over the room to the GJM suggests that the hawkers are aligning themselves with the new party.
The GNLF usually used the office for campaigning during the municipality, assembly and parliamentary elections.
“This (handing over of the office) has taken place because the GNLF has not taken the people into confidence. We will, however, be in constant touch with our people. We will show them how to run a party office properly,” said Dinesh.
Senior GNLF leader and president of the GNLF Sadar-II unit K.B. Gurung said the room had never been their party office.
“The Pathpasala Sangh had given the space to us during the elections and we used it for some time. Later (a couple of months ago), they wanted it back and we decided to hand it over,” the leader said.
When asked about the decision of the union to hand it back to their rivals, Gurung said: “It is their room and it is their decision.”
The GJM today refuted allegations that the party was using funds mobilised for the Indian Idol voting.
“We have more than 35,000 members in the town area alone. Each of them has paid Rs 10 as annual subscription. From this we sent Rs 5 to the central committee while the rest is being used for party activities here,” said Dinesh.