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9 Jul 2018

Tamang targets Gurung, BJP in run-up to Lok Sabha polls

TNN, KOLKATA: Fugitive leader Bimal Gurung and BJP came under attack from the Binay Tamang-Anit Thapa-led GJM camp at a public meeting in Kurseong on Sunday, the first of a series scheduled for the month in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Clearly spelling out the changing political contours in the Hills, Tamang took a dig at the BJP dispensation at the Centre for failing to keep its promises. “BJP has deceived the Hills people for over eight years with its promises. But now we will not be fooled again,” the GJM president said. “The recent strike was withdrawn with the promise of holding tripartite talks but one year has passed, nothing has happened. Where was BJP when people were suffering for 104 days?” he added.

He warned the saffron party against indulging in vote-bank politics while eyeing the 2019 polls. “You (BJP) are targeting the 2019 election by extending support to Gurung. But we want to tell BJP that first fulfil our demand, otherwise we will not let you even set foot in the Hills,” he said.

Responding to Gurung’s appeal in a recent audio message, where he asked various political parties of the Hills to unitedly raise their demand following tripartite talks on Bodoland, Tamang said: ‘It was you (Gurung) who closed the all-party meeting chapter during the 104-day agitation and now you want a united voice. I want to bring to Gurung’s notice that there was no 104 days of strike and agitation and 13 people were not killed for the Bodoland talks to happen. The talk happened because of systematic and diplomatic endeavours.”

Speaking to an impressive crowd at the Motor Stand, Tamang ridiculed his former boss’ claim of being forced to live in the safety of jungles to be able to continue with the statehood struggle. “All his claims are false. We have all information about Gurung’s whereabouts. How many times and where he is travelling. At present, he is living in a rented accommodation in Kathmandu that costs about Rs 1.5 lakh a month. How can someone on the run have so much money? The whole exercise of video and audio messages is to play with people’s emotion to gain sympathy,” the GJM president alleged.

GJM will hold similar public meetings in Bijanbari on July 9 and in Kalimpong on July 11, to make people aware of the current political situation in the Hills.

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