Darjeeling Unrest: Dispute In GJM Over Decision To Withdraw Strike

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Darjeeling: GJM convenor Binay Tamang on Thursday ruled out having any differences with party chief Bimal Gurung and said he was asked by the party’s leadership to join a meeting convened by the West Bengal government recently to discuss the situation in the bandh-bound Darjeeling hills. He said the state government had sent a letter in his name to attend the August 29 meeting but that he had refused to go.

He further said the party made him convenor at a meeting at Mangpu and he was asked by the GJM leadership to join the talks. “What wrong did I do? I have been threatened on Facebook for joining the talks. I felt insulted,” he told a GJM meeting at Kurseong.

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Tamang said the indefinite shutdown in the hills, which was put off on its 78th day today, was called over the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. “But the leadership also needs to understand the pulse of the masses.”

Ruling out any differences with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha chief, he said, “Bimal Gurung is the undisputed leader of the Gorkhaland movement. It is since 2007 that Gurung and Roshan Giri have been fighting for Gorkhaland.”

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Tamang said he had been with them for the last few years. “Bimal Gurung is like my elder brother. Don’t listen to those who are against the Gorkhaland movement,” Tamang told the meeting.

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Earlier a senior GJM leader had told PTI, “We feel that there has been some misunderstanding and miscommunication between them (Gurung and Tamang). We want this to be sorted out soon as we do not want others to take advantage of it.” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had described the August 29 meeting held at the state secretariat as “positive and cordial” and had said the dialogue process will continue to restore peace and normalcy.