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23 Jun 2017

Gurung rocks unity boat... says all-party chapter is now closed ...everyone must come under one party and one flag.... The movement is now a people's movement- Zimba

Vivek Chhetri and Bureau, TT, Darjeeling, June 22:  Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Bimal Gurung has postponed an all-party meeting and said "everyone must come under one party and one flag".
The statement has evoked a sense of déjà vu and sown seeds of confusion among other parties in the hills and prompted some to suggest that Gurung is betraying fears that his leadership would be challenged if a broad-based coalition takes shape.
"The all-party chapter is now closed.... Everyone must come under one party and one flag, and the Morcha has been raising this demand since 2007. These political parties wanted our resignation from the GTA (Gorkhaland Territorial Administration). I have seen all these leaders in the past," Gurung told reporters at Patlebas around 7pm today.
"The GNLF had forged an alliance with the Trinamul Congress for a sum of Rs 3 crore. The JAP (Jana Andolan Party formed by a breakaway group from the Morcha), too, was not serious about the Gorkhaland issue. In future we cannot expect these leaders to be sincere. Even during the last agitation (in 2013), we had formed a joint action committee of all political parties but they derailed the issue," Gurung added.
An all-party meeting was scheduled to be convened by the Morcha in the hills on Saturday. But earlier today, the Morcha had said it was postponing the meeting as the party had met the key demand of the others by agreeing to resign from the GTA Sabha.
Reacting to the statement Gurung made in the evening, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the president of the Jana Andolan Party, said tonight: "This is a repeat of the 2013 all-party movement. Whenever Gurung is in trouble, he seeks help from all parties and whenever he thinks that he had mustered enough support, he wants to go alone. But this time things are different and people will not take things lying low."
Neeraj Zimba, a GNLF spokesperson, said: "With this U-turn, Gurung is compromising for more power and more money. The movement is now a people's movement. The GNLF will call a meeting with other hill parties on June 24 to decide on our future course of action. Our supporters will not allow Roshan Giri (the Morcha general secretary) to come up to the hills (from Delhi). The allegation that our party forged an alliance with Trinamul for Rs 3 crore is baseless."
Instead of holding the all-party meeting, the Morcha said Gurung would use Saturday to resign from the GTA Sabha, along with the other Morcha members. The party will burn the copies of the GTA agreement and act across the hills next week. Gurung is expected to address a gathering here either on June 27 or 28 and might make "more announcements".

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