A voice message in Nepali, purportedly by estranged GNLF leader Ajoy Edwards and sent to the party’s WhatsApp group, alleges how GNLF president Mann Ghisingh betrayed and sidelined him.
The 37.21-minute-long voice message, supposedly by Edwards to the “GNLF parivar (family)”, says he has nothing against others. Edwards, currently in Ladakh, purportedly says: “My grouse is with Mann Ghisingh.”
One of the most known faces of the GNLF, entrepreneur and social worker Edwards, in the purported message, said Mann betrayed him despite their friendship of “32 to 33” years. “I feel I was only used (by Mann),” the message says.
Edwards alleged Mann asked him to prepare for MLA elections given the purported “unpopularity” of Neeraj Zimba (Darjeeling MLA) almost a year back. But Zimba was again asked to contest in the 2021 polls, said Edwards.
Edwards’ purported voice message claims that their relationship took a nosedive in August. “I was told to go to Delhi (in early August) but from the day before which I was to leave for Delhi, Mann stopped taking my calls or responding to my messages.”
Edwards, who has not yet resigned as the GNLF Darjeeling Branch Committee’s president, also purportedly says that while he was in Delhi, Mann came to the capital to meet Union home minister Amit Shah on August 6 but neither contacted Edwards nor met him.
Instead, Edwards alleged, Mann repeatedly changed his number, told other leaders not to give them to Edwards, and held a central committee meeting in Darjeeling on August 15 without telling him. Zimba was made the new secretary general in the meeting.
“Sometime back he (Mann) had told me to be the secretary,” the voice message says.
The GNLF is now an ally of the BJP. Edwards in the purported voice message claimed Mann in 2015 had asked him to request chief minister Mamata Banerjee to give him (Mann) a “government post”. “She smiled at my request…I am not someone to beg, but within seven days, she did make the appointment.”
Mann was made a vice-chairman of a sports body for north Bengal in 2015. Mann refused. Edwards alleged Mann felt it was too small for him.
Edwards alleged “money has changed hands”, but he would give details later. He added he had not “rejected the GNLF parivar but they left no road for me to return”. He said he would not join any party, but would be “in politics.”
Mann did not respond to the allegations. Zimba said they had not got any official letter from Edwards. “This is an issue between Ram and Laxman of our party, how can Hanuman comment,” he said.