Returning after three years, Gurung rallies for Mamata in Siliguri
Darjeeling: "It is because of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that I stand here before you. She has assured us of a permanent political solution for the Gorkhas. We will make BJP pay for having betrayed the Gorkhas. We will ensure Mamata Banerjee's victory," stated rebel Gorkha leader Bimal Gurung, addressing the first rally after more than three years.
Gurung who was missing since the violent agitation in the Hills in 2017 had suddenly resurfaced in Kolkata on October 21. In Kolkata, he declared his allegiance to the Trinamool Congress and severed ties with long time ally BJP. On Sunday he arrived at Siliguri.
"The time is vital for us. We have to teach BJP a lesson. They have used the Gorkhas as mere pawns for 15 years to fulfil their selfish communal political motives. It is time to teach them a lesson. We will make them pay with each and every vote. We will uproot BJP from North Bengal. Each and every vote will be cast in favour of Mamata Banerjee" added Gurung to frenzied cheers from thousands of supporters who had gathered at the Indira Gandhi Maidan in Siliguri.
Training guns at Raju Bista, the BJP Member of Parliament of the Darjeeling constituency, Gurung stated "Though he is BJP's national spokesperson he could not raise our issue. Instead he derailed our aspiration with his loose talk. He should resign. His chapter is closed," retorted Gurung.
Gurung stated that no one can stop him from reaching the Hills. Without naming Binoy Tamang and Anit Thapa, Gurung said: "Who are they to stop me? If I want I can go to the Hills tomorrow but I do not want to create a law and order situation in the State. Within seven days I will visit Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Mirik and the Dooars and hold 20 public meetings."
He further alleged that the "two leaders" had usurped 70 per cent of the GTA funds in the past three years. "The GTA under the two are riddled by corruption and nepotism. They have to pay for this," stated Gurung.
Gurung's journey along with his wife Asha Gurung from Kolkata hit choppy waters with a "Rail-roko" by tribals at the Azimnagar railway station. From there he arrived at Siliguri at around 4:15 pm, more than 8 hours behind the scheduled time.
Meanwhile, the "Bangla Pokkho" torched Gurung's effigy and chanted anti-Gurung slogans at Hashmi Chowk, Siliguri on Sunday.