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Reality show girl gets Gurung’s support

Anoushka Chettri

Darjeeling, June 3: Bimal Gurung has decided to start a campaign in the hills once again but this time it will be for eight-year-old Anoushka Chettri and not for any political purpose.

Anoushka, a Class III student of Loreto Convent, is among the top five contestants in a TV reality show, Dance India Dance-Little Master Season 3, which is for children aged between four and 12. The programme is aired on Zee TV from 9pm to 10.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president today directed the party leaders to start a campaign across the hills for the girl and urge people to vote for her by registering a missed call on 1800-833-600-3. The last number, three, is for Anoushka and other contestants are also assigned a single-digit number for the audience to vote for them.

One can also log in to the website of the TV channel and vote for their favourite contestant. However, Gurung didn’t give any direction with regard to the voting on the website. The voting will be held from 8pm every Saturday till 8am every Monday till the end of the show.

The campaign by Gurung is not the first of its kind.

The Morcha’s rise to fame is largely attributed to a similar campaign started by Gurung in 2007. Then, a hill singer, Prashant Tamang, had been taking part in another reality show, Indian Idol, telecast by Sony TV. Gurung formed the Prashant Tamang Fan Club and mobilised support for the singer who went on to win the show.

Within days of Prashant’s win, Gurung formed the Morcha and used the fan club to oust GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh from the DGHC.

This time around, Gurung has no such challenges.

Binay Tamang, assistant secretary of the Morcha, said: “Members of the Anoushka Fan Club met our party president Bimal Gurung. Our leader has directed us to start a campaign to garner support for the dancer. We have already passed the instruction to our cadres.”

Anoushka, a resident of MP Road in Darjeeling, is in Mumbai at present to take part in the show. She will be in her hometown on June 5 and 6.

“The information and cultural affairs department of the GTA has also decided to support the events that will be organised by the Anoushka Fan Club in Darjeeling for four days from June 5,” said Binay, who is also the executive Sabha member of the GTA in charge the department.

Sheetal Subba, member of the Anoushka Fan Club, said: “On June 5 and 6, a special programme (dance) will be held at Chowrasta by the Kanchenjungha Nritya Academy and Anoushka will be present. On June 7 and 8, other artistes from Darjeeling will perform at Chowrasta.”

Kanchenjungha Nritya Academy is patronised by Gurung.

On June 6, the Anoushka Fan Club and the GTA’s information and cultural affairs department will bring out a rally from the Darjeeling Railway Station to Chowrasta.

“We have requested different communities in the hills to participate in the rally wearing their traditional attire to drum up support for Anoushka,” said Binay.