West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called for a meeting on Tuesday (November 3) with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Binay Tamang and party colleague Anik Thapa. According to sources, Bimal Gurung hasn't been invited to the meeting. The meeting aims to iron out differences between the two factions so that developmental work in the hills can continue without any disruption. Binay Tamang, ahead of the meeting, claims there is no question of sharing space with Gurung.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called for a meeting on Tuesday (November 3) with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Binay Tamang and party colleague Anik Thapa. According to sources, Bimal Gurung hasn't been invited to the meeting. The meeting aims to iron out differences between the two factions so that developmental work in the hills can continue without any disruption, especially after the prolonged lockdown due to COVID-19.
After a gap of three years, Bimal Gurung has come back into politics. Last month, Gurung resurfaced in Kolkata to ally with Trinamool while announcing he was walking away from the BJP, the party with which he had been in an alliance since 2009.
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However, Anik Thapa said in the context of the meeting that discussions would be held with Mamata Banerjee on the Gorkha Territorial Administration. He also said that multiple issues may come up in the meeting keeping in view the upcoming elections.
Bimal Gurung had severed his ties with Mamata Banerjee in 2017, revolted against her leading to more than 100 days of blockade in the hills over the demand for a separate state called Gorkhaland. Bimal Gurung went on supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls but that had also fragmented the strongest political party in the hills of Darjeeling, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha - one faction was led by Binay Tamang and the other was with Gurung.
Binay Tamang stayed loyal to Mamata and eventually was given the top post of chairman of Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), replacing Gurung. GTA is an autonomous body formed in 2011 after Mamata Banerjee came to power as a tripartite agreement between state, Centre, and GJM. Since 2017 Gurung had been absconding as per the book of law but he resurfaced all of a sudden in Kolkata in October. He claimed he has been betrayed by BJP and thus has snapped all ties with the saffron party and expressed his desire to see Mamata Banerjee as the Chief Minister of West Bengal in 2021.
"There is no place for Bimal Gurung in the hills of Darjeeling anymore. There is no question of sharing stage, space or responsibility with him," said Binay Tamang on Monday (November 2) barely 24 hours before the meeting with Mamata Banerjee. Binay Tamang faction of GJM is weary of unrest and trouble once again in the hills if Bimal Gurung is allowed to return.
Last Updated 3, Nov 2020, 12:25 PM