Stage set for Ghisingh comeback in Hills | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Stage set for Ghisingh comeback in Hills

After three years of silence, a silence that cost him his throne, the stage is all set for the return of Subash Ghisingh to the Hill political arena. Amitava Banerjee reports

kolkata Updated: Apr 07, 2011 13:38 IST
Amitava Banerjee

After three years of silence, a silence that cost him his throne, the stage is all set for the return of Subash Ghisingh to the Hill political arena. The Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) chief is inching his way into Darjeeling.

While party workers are organising regular rallies in the Hills, Ghisingh is scheduled to address his supporters at Mirik in the Kurseong sub-division on April 9 and in Darjeeling town on April 13.

Following this visit, Ghisingh is expected to stay back in the Darjeeling Hills.

GNLF supporters expect the political tides will turn in favour of the green brigade with Ghisingh’s return and public address. “There are thousands of supporters waiting for his return. As soon as he returns, they will come out in open, supporting GNLF. It will be a tsunami — we will be unstoppable,” said Milan Dukpa, GNLF leader.

According to DP Singh, superintendent of police, Darjeeling, “The GNLF has applied for permission for a rally in Mirik on April 9 and for Darjeeling on April 13.”

GNLF’s show of strength continued in the form of rallies in Darjeeling and Kalimpong on Wednesday.

In Darjeeling, party supporters took out a rally from Ghoom Bhanjyang to Jorebungalow 14th Mile via Batasia Loop (4km from Darjeeling town). A vehicular rally made rounds of the Kalimpong town on Wednesday.

Slogans such as ‘no criminalisation of politics’, ‘we want peace’, ‘stop the politics of social boycott’, ‘let our children study’, ‘long live Ghisingh’, ‘the government has to immediately grant 6th Schedule status to the Darjeeling Hills’ reverberated in the Hills.

GNLF leaders have also started coming back to the party fold. Former GNLF Kalimpong branch committee vice-president Tshering Sherpa has returned. He, along with many other leaders, have been forced into exile in Siliguri and had resigned from the GNLF to join the All India Gorkha Hill (AIGL).

Talking to HT, Sherpa said, “The public wanted me to come back to the GNLF. So, I have resigned from AIGL. They also want me to come home to my residence in Kafer, Kalimpong. The administration should ensure that I can stay in my home without being intimidated.” Since the GNLF and Ghisingh were routed out of the Hills, Tshering Sherpa has been living in Siliguri. “There are many like me who will be returning back to the party fold. The GNLF is back again,”

Ghisingh too had left Darjeeling on July 27, 2008, after the death of GJM supporter Pramila Sharma, which led to arson and vandalising of properties of GNLF leaders by angry GJM supporters. Sharma had allegedly died from a bullet fired from the house of GNLF leader Deepak Gurung in Darjeeling. Ghisingh had to be escorted out of Darjeeling and has been living in Jalpaiguri town since.

With the GNLF on a hurricane revival path, the main contest in the three Hill constituencies would be between the GJM and the GNLF. “The public response is immense. They are greeting us with open arms,” said Bhim Subba, GNLF candidate from Darjeeling.