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In Photo: Bimal Gurung addressing the GJM rally at Kalimpong Mela Ground on Wednesday. Photo courtesy: GJM 

By A Newsman

Kalimpong, 30 September: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supremo Bimal Gurung has ruled out quitting the autonomous Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).

Instead, he has said that he would fight Mamata Banerjee’s “interference” in the functioning of GTA by exercising the powers of the very autonomous body. Gurung is the chief executive of GTA, a post equivalent to a minister of state.

GJM, he said, would relaunch its agitation in the Hills from 2 October but no bandhs would be called in the hills.

Gurung made the remarks while addressing a GJM rally at Mela Ground in Kalimpong on Wednesday. The rally, convened close on the heels of two senior GJM leaders Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Darjeeling ex-MLA Trilok Dewan quitting the party, saw a huge turnout.

“I will not quit the GTA. Trinamool Congress is waiting to grab the GTA the moment we resign, but I will not give them the opportunity. Instead, the way Mamata Banerjee is using the state government to interfere in the Hills, similarly I would fight her designs from the limits of the GTA,” Gurung said.

Praising the previous Left Front (LF) government in Bengal, he maintained that the LF never interfered in the functioning of the erstwhile the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) in the 21 years that the autonomous body lasted. “But Mamata Banerjee has visited the Hills 27 times and every time she interfered in one way or the other.”

Gurung announced that to sensitise people on the constant interference in GTA, the GJM would embark on a long march from Kalimpong on 2 October and it would culminate in a massive gathering in Darjeeling on 7 October coinciding the party’s foundation day.

This apart, beginning 8 October, the party’s youth wing  Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha will organise a torch rally across the Hills every Thursday evening, he said.

Taking a dig at Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Gurung said that he was “now even scared of the words think tank”. “The Hills shall have to nurture genuine doctors and not those who are merely by name,” he said in an obvious reference to Chhetri’s Phd degree.

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