Govt trying to disturb peace in Darjeeling: Gurung

Bimal Gurung, former ‘right hand' of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) chief Subhas Ghising, shot into limelight by breaking away from his political mentor and launching Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) on October 7,2007 to press for the demand for a separate hill state - Gorkhaland - in the Darjeeling hills.  The Morcha chief speaks his mind during a brief chat with  Deccan Herald in Darjeeling.

What do you have to say about the `comeback' of  GNLF chief Subhas Ghising in the hills after three years ?

It's nothing but a conspiracy of the Buddhadev Bhattacherjee government. The state government has provided him (Ghising) with security to disturb the democratic atmosphere of the hills. We'll launch an agitation in the hills for his permanent ouster from there.

But why are you objecting to his presence ?

During the last 20 years,he had just ruined the Darjeeling hills through his corruptive practices. Everything is fresh in the minds of the hill people. At a time when the people are pitching for peace, the state government is trying to foist him on our head again. We'll oppose this with all our might.
 
You have made a unilateral announcement to support the Congress-Trinamool alliance. GJM supported the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. Is there any rift between GJM and BJP  that has made you change your stand ?

There is no rift with the BJP. Supporting the alliance is part of a strategy. In our goal to achieve Gorkhaland, we'd like to align with any party or combine.

Trinamool Congress has termed your offer of support as `uncalled for.' Are you planning a tie-up with the TMC after the polls ?

At the moment, I'll not speak much about it as it's our party strategy to keep things under wraps for sometime. We'll wait and watch the actions of the alliance and then, we'll speak up.
 
But both Congress and TMC have ruled out creation of Gorkhaland.

See, we believe that road to Gorkhaland has to start from the assembly only and that's why we're in the poll fray.

We'd like to negotiate our demand in a hard way with the alliance which is likely to assume power in West Bengal. Our legislators will sensitise the assembly the way our MP has done in parliament. The development of the hill areas has been neglected for decades together. It's time for us to raise our voice in the assembly and our MLAs will raise the issue of a separate state in the assembly.

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