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Gurung links BJP hope to statehood deadline

Darjeeling, March 28: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president, Bimal Gurung, today said he had promised the hill people Gorkhaland by March 10, 2010, in the belief that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance would come to power in 2009.

“There was some thought behind my March 10 (2010) deadline. I was of the opinion that the NDA would be voted to power in 2009 and that Gorkhaland would be achieved by 2010. However, it was our bad luck that NDA did not come to power. This year, NDA is definitely coming to power and we will be making a big mistake if we don’t ensure the BJP’s victory from Darjeeling,” Gurung told a party workers’ meet at Alubari-Phulbari in Darjeeling.

Within months of launching the Morcha in October 2007, Gurung had publicly claimed that he would “achieve” Gorkhaland by March 10, 2010, failing which, he would shoot himself.

The statement on the deadline was debated throughout his agitation. On March 10, 2010, when a public meeting was being held at Lichi Ground in Kalimpong, Gurung scurried across the dais to grab a suitcase, but was held back by other leaders of the Morcha.

The general feeling was that Gurung was trying to reach for a revolver in his suitcase but his intention was never known.

Although Gurung today said he hoped the BJP would be in power in Delhi after the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, he had earlier provided a different explanation for setting the March 10, 2010 deadline.

“I have studied Ghisingh’s kundali (horoscope) along with mine and the Morcha’s. It says Gorkhaland will be formed soon,” Gurung had said in January 2008.

Today, Gurung attacked GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh also. “Ghisingh has come back to Darjeeling probably because Mamata Banerjee has threatened to withdraw his Z-security status and Ghisingh is someone who cannot live without security. He might also have been threatened that the funds spent by the DGHC during his 22-year rule would be audited.”

The GNLF chief had returned to his Darjeeling home last week after staying in the plains for a few years.