Gorkha leader Bimal Gurung to address mega rally in Siliguri on Sunday
Followers of the Bimal Gurung faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha have planned a huge rally in Siliguri town on Sunday to mark Gurung’s return to Bengal’s Darjeeling district after three and a half years.
Gurung, who has been charged by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government under anti-terror law for the violence during the Gorkhaland stir in 2017, was in hiding all these years. He surfaced in Kolkata on October 21 and offered to support Mamata Banerjee in the assembly elections due in about five months.
In the last three Lok Sabha polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the Darjeeling seat with Gurung’s support. “The BJP did nothing to find a permanent political solution to the Gorkhaland issue. We are with Mamata Banerjee,” he said in Kolkata recently.
Sunday’s rally will be held at the Indira Gandhi Maidan in Siliguri.
Bishal Chettri, vice president of the party’s central committee said, “Gurung will reach Siliguri by train on Sunday morning and head for the venue. We are expecting a gathering of more than one lakh supporters.”
Anand Bhandari, lawyer of the GJM (Bimal Gurung faction), said Gurung can appear in public since the Supreme Court has ordered a stay on investigation in the cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Gurung will not immediately move to hills, leaders in the party said. He and his supporters will stay in Siliguri to avoid confrontation with the GJM’s Binoy Tamang faction,
Binoy Tamang met law and labour minister Moloy Ghatak on Thursday. Tamang is opposed to Gurung’s return to the hills. His close aide Anit Thapa is chairman of the board of administrators in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
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