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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

Tamang faction of GJM likely to expel Bimal Gurung, Roshan Giri

The power struggle in the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is heading towards tit-for-tat sackings with its fugitive chief Bimal Gurung likely to be shown the door.

kolkata Updated: Nov 19, 2017 19:20 IST
Pramod Giri
Pramod Giri
Hindustan Times, Darjeeling
The first public meeting of the Tamang faction of the GJM drew around 5000 people in the heart of Darjeeling on Sunday.
The first public meeting of the Tamang faction of the GJM drew around 5000 people in the heart of Darjeeling on Sunday.(HT Photo)

The Binoy Tamang faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is likely to expel fugitive Morcha president Bimal Gurung and general secretary Roshan Giri soon with Tamang seemingly holding the upper hand in the turf war in the Darjeeling hills.

The threat came at the Tamang faction’s first public meeting on Sunday that is being seen as a show of strength.

“From underground the earlier GJM leadership had announced my expulsion and of some other GJM office bearers from the party. Now it is time to see who gets expelled in future,” said Binoy Tamang’s close associate Anit Thapa.

The Tamang faction is backed by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee after Gurung and Giri who were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, went underground.

Sunday’s meeting at the motor stand in the heart of Darjeeling was considered as a litmus test for the rebel GJM faction to prove its supremacy in hill politics. Around 5,000 people attended the meeting despite Gurung’s call from hiding to boycott it.

In his appeal, Gurung had argued that public attendance would just jeopardize the long- standing demand for separate Gorkhaland state and the ongoing movement in support of that demand.

Thapa said that a crucial meeting of the GJM central committee has been convened on November 20. The meeting will take several crucial decisions relating to the Morcha leadership. “One of the decisions might be relating to expulsion of Gurung and Giri,” he said.

Read more: Darjeeling impasse: Bengal seals GJM office building, arrests 3 for cop’s death

In the absence of Gurung and his close associates, Tamang’s faction has gained substantial strength. The chief minister’s decision to create board of administrators in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) making Tamang its chairman and Thapa as its vice- chairman, has worked in favour of the anti- Gurung faction in the hills.

“Gurung has nothing else to do except issuing statements. So in such a situation, the official expulsion of Gurung, Giri and their associates from the party will only strengthen our position in the hills,” Thapa said.

Before Gurung went into hiding, the GJM had called for an indefinite strike in the Darjeeling hills to push for a separate Gorkhaland state. The strike which lasted over 100 days crippled the economy of the north Bengal hills. The GJM called off the strike on September 27 following an appeal by Union home minister Rajnath Singh who also asked the Union home secretary to convene an official level meeting to discuss all related issues for Gorkhaland.

First Published: Nov 19, 2017 18:41 IST

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