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Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung seeks to cosy up to Trinamul Congress

Morcha: If invited, leaders ready to meet CM

Vivek Chhetri Darjeeling Published 06.06.23, 05:41 AM
Bimal Gurung at the NJP station in Siliguri upon his return from New Delhi on Monday

Bimal Gurung at the NJP station in Siliguri upon his return from New Delhi on Monday Passang Yolmo

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung on Monday suggested that he was keeping his political options open.

Gurung, who returned from New Delhi on Monday, said Morcha leaders would meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Darjeeling if invited.


“If invited, our party leaders will definitely meet (the chief minister in Darjeeling),” said Gurung who did not specify whether he, too, would be part of the delegation.

Mamata and Gurung have not been seen in public together for more than five years.

When Gurung made the statement at the New Jalpaiguri (NJP) railway station, word of Mamata Banerjee cancelling her three-day tour of Darjeeling from Monday had not been confirmed.

The Morcha leader's statement assumes significance when many hill leaders seek to stitch together a new political equation in the hills.

Gurung had ditched the BJP in 2020 after 11 years of alliance and supported the Trinamul Congress in the Bengal Assembly elections the following year.

However, of late, Gurung was seen moving away from Trinamul. “Gurung’s statement of his party delegation not being averse to meeting the chief minister is important in the context of hill politics as Gurung was seen moving away from Trinamul,” said an observer.

Also, the statement comes after his visit to Delhi. Another hill leader Binay Tamang was also in Delhi recently and there are indications that he is leaning towards the Congress.

Tamang had recently noted that the DGHC and the GTA had been formed when the Congress was in power at the Centre.

Gurung, however, said his visit to Delhi was purely for personal reasons and had nothing to do with politics. “I went there for work related to my school and trust. It had nothing to do with politics,” said Gurung.

However, Gurung’s entourage to Delhi included senior Morcha leaders Roshan Giri (general secretary), Anil Lopchan and Dipen Mallay (both central committee members).

Gurung said if the BJP failed to deliver on its promise of a "permanent political solution" for the hills, it would have to face consequences.

BJP ally Gorkha National Liberation Front is also issuing similar statements and so is Ajoy Edwards of the Hamro Party, which is maintaining an equidistant from the BJP and Trinamul at the moment.

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