Gorkhaland row: Gurung and his men suspended from GJM, Tamang takes over as new president
The decision to dethrone Gurung was taken at a GJM central committee meeting chaired by Benoy Tamang and attended by only 37 of the 93 members of the committee.kolkata Updated: Nov 21, 2017 08:04 IST
A day before its crucial meeting with the Bengal government, the Binoy Tamang faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) suspended the party’s founder- president Bimal Gurung and all his close associates. They were removed from all posts and Tamang took over as the new president.
Accused of creating terror, Gurung and his aides are suspected to hiding somewhere in Sikkim.
The decision to dethrone the GJM founder was taken at a meeting of the party’s central committee chaired by Tamang. The meeting was however attended by only 37 of the 93 members of the committee. Gurung was removed from the post of president and Tamang took over. The fugitive general secretary Roshan Giri, was also stripped of his position and Tamang’s close associate, Anit Thapa, took over. Both Tamang and Thapa enjoy the support of the administration.
Roshan Giri issued a statement from his hideout in the evening, saying his suspension was illegal since Tamang himself was expelled by the central committee two months ago. GJM supporters also claimed that during the day a court had issued an order that would protect Gurung from police action for 20 days. Nobody however could confirm the information or provide details.
Gurung’s wife, Asha Gurung, was also removed from the post of president of GJM Nari (Women) Morcha. Name of the next incumbent was however not announced. Prakash Gurung was removed from the president of GJM’s youth wing. GJM spokesman and central committee member, Swaraj Thapa, a former New Delhi- based journalist, was also removed from the committee.
“All of them have been suspended for six months. The decision was taken by the majority present at the meeting. Vacant posts will be filled up shortly,” Tamang said after the meeting.
Interestingly, Gurung had expelled Tamang, then assistant general secretary and convener, from GJM by calling an emergency meeting of the central committee on September 1. The meeting was held at an undisclosed location at the Darjeeling- Sikkim border. A decision to expel Thapa was also taken at a same meeting.
Leaders of different hill parties feel that the counter-attack by Tamang on the eve of the crucial bipartite meeting could eventually lead to an end of Gurung’s political career because there would be nobody in the GJM to challenge Tamang or his decisions.
Monday’s development was not entirely unexpected. Thapa earlier said at a rally that some action against Gurung and his team would be taken. The feud between Gurung and Tamang started over their differences on two issues: whether to continue with the indefinite strike in the hills and whether GJM was being mislead by BJP.