18th November: Bimal Gurung makes desperate appeal to the people not to attend Binay-Anit faction’s meet at Darjeeling on the 19th Nov.
19th November: Binay-Anit faction to hold meeting at Darjeeling Motor Stand – to prove their popular support
20th November: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to arrive at Siliguri
21st November: Bipartite Meeting between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Binay-Anit faction and other leaders from the Hill
22nd November: Administrative Meeting at Uttarkanya chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and to be attended by the heads of all Development Boards from the Hills
THE HIMALAYAN BEACON
DARJEELING, 18TH NOVEMBER 2017: In a rare back to back audio release, Bimal Gurung has made a desperate call to the people of the hills not to attend the rally organised by Binay Tamang-Anit Thapa faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). The rally is slated to take place on the 19th of November at Darjeeling Motor Stand is seen as Binay-Anit faction’s attempt to prove their popular support. Gurung who has steadily witnessed his popular based disappear from his side with a large section of people and leadership either joining Binay-Anit faction or the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF). Gurung has also witnessed his support base from his home constituency Singamari-Tukver constituency and the surrounding areas such as Lebong, Singtam, Barnesbeg, Goke, Happy Valley and Lumthang area steadily moving towards GNLF or the Binay-Anit faction has appealed the people not to attend the rally tomorrow saying that he had never betrayed the cause of Gorkhaland and that even in hiding he was working towards the same. He said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership at New Delhi was close to reaching an agreement on long term solution of the political turmoil in the region and that he would soon go to New Delhi to negotiate with the Union Government.
Political analysts in the Hills are however, circumspect about Bimal Gurung’s appeal and feel that the back to back audio release made by the GJM chief shows his frustration and desperation. There are already reports from unconfirmed sources that the Binay-Anit faction will be calling the meeting of the Central Committee of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and that both Bimal Gurung and Asha Gurung (his wife and head of the Women’s wing of the party – Nari Morcha) could not just be dropped from the position of the President of the Party and the Nari Morcha respectively, they may also be expelled from the party for unlawful activities and acts unbecoming a leader of the democratic party.
In the latest audio release Gurung has pitched his last hope in the intervention of the Union Government and the calling of the Tripartite Meet. He said that the BJP Government at the Centre was positive over the issue of the Gorkhaland. However, it was the handful of ‘opportunist leaders’ who were working against Gorkhaland and conniving with the State Government.
One of the main reason why Gurung has seemingly appealed desperately to the people not attend the 19th Nov. Binay-Anit Faction meeting at Darjeeling is that the Chief Minister is due to arrive at Siliguri on the 20th of November and on the 21st the Chief Minister is slated to hold a Bipartite Meeting with Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa Faction along with other political leaders from the Hill. On November 22, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to hold an administrative meeting at Uttarkanya to be attended by various Community Development Boards from the Hills. Thus, observers feel that if a large number of people attend the meeting tomorrow, it will be easy for Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa to say that they hold the people’s support and that Bimal Gurung has been completely ousted. The same could also result in mixed reactions among BJP leadership both at National and State level leading to Gurung being isolated and probably even ditched by the BJP leadership.