Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Gurung now in TMC: Would Mamata now concede Gorkhaland, ask rivals

Bimal Gurung has shifted from NDA to Trinamool Congress. The leader of Gorkha Janmukti Murcha, understandably is arousing the ire on his shifting loyalty.

Gurung had gone underground following the death of a policeman in an alleged shootout with his supporters in 2017. He has now surfaced. He had spearheaded the statehood movement in northern West Bengal’s Darjeeling hills.

He had been an NDA ally. But on Wednesday the 56-year-old Gurung said: “I want to see Mamata Banerjee as Chief Minister again and I will do my best to get her all the seats in North Bengal in the 2021 elections.”

In a tweet responding to his new stand, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress welcomed his “commitment to peace” and “decision to withdraw support from the NDA”. 

The Congress was quick on the offensive. “The question now is whether Mamata ji will concede the issue of Gorkhaland or is Mr Gurung going to relinquish the demand for a separate state,” Adihr Ranjan Chowdhury said

“The question now is, pointing that the person who had slapped UAPA charges against the Gorkhaland movement leader was now pampering him.”

The BJP wasn’t far behind. Party leader Sayantan Bose said the BJP and the Prime Minister had not conceded to the Gorkhaland demand.

“Does it mean that, to stay in power, Mamata Banerjee has decided to divide Bengal?” Mr Bose asked.

Both the BJP and the Congress have pointed out that Mr Gurung has several serious cases filed against him. Would it be diluted now, she questioned.

Ms Banerjee’s rivals say desperation is leading her to rope in people like Mr Gurung and Chhatradhar Mahato, the leader of a Moist-friendly organisation.

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