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12 May 2017

Gurung turns 'steel trunk' into 'coffin'

Gurung addresses the meeting in Darjeeling on Thursday
TT, Darjeeling, May 11: Sensing popular mood in the hills, Bimal Gurung today launched a vitriolic attack on the "steel trunk" jibe of state minister and Trinamul leader Indranil Sen even as the ruling party, which seems to be on the back foot, declined comment on the statement.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today organised a public meeting at Darjeeling Motor Stand and most of the speakers picked on the "steel trunk" comment. The Morcha interpreted Sen's "six-foot steel trunk" as a coffin and launched a tirade against Sen.
"They come and say I and Roshan Giri need to be packed in a coffin and sent out of the district. The minister probably does not know that a lot of Gorkhas are packed in coffins after guarding our country's boundary. It is because of our Gorkha brothers guard on the borders that ministers can sleep peacefully at their homes. A minister who has never come and offered even a khada when the coffins of our martyrs are brought home has no right to talk in this language," said Gurung.
As hundreds of Morcha supporters clapped, Gurung added: "This is our land. The soil of this land is wet with the sweat and blood of our forefathers. Who is he to tell us that he will send us out of this district? The heart of every Gorkha is hurt by such statements."
Sen in his election speech had said: "I have brought 32 steel trunks of 6ft length and ropes. Now it is your job, brothers and sisters. The elections are slated for May 14 and cast your votes for the TMC and the GNLF and pack Bimal Gurung, Roshan Giri and all their candidates and send them to another district. At that time, you will hear them singing Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (never say goodbye) from inside the trunks."
Trinamul leaders admit in private that Sen's comment has put the party on the back foot. "A lot of our hard work has been undone by the statement. The comment was uncalled for," said a Trinamul leader.
Asked if the comment was uncalled for, minister and Trinamul leader Gautam Deb refused to give a direct comment. "I would like to reserve my comments as I do not know what was said. However, it is very unfortunate that they are raising the Gorkhaland issue in a civic election where the issue is about civic amenities."

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