Bimal claws at cats crossing the path

Calcutta, Feb. 29: Bimal Gurung today likened the Sixth Schedule bill and Subash Ghisingh to cats crossing the path of oncoming cars.

“Hamara gari ka samne dotho kala billi aa gaya tha, to kya kartey hain hum? Billi ko ukharkey phek diya… (Two black cats had come in front of our cars. What were we to do? We picked them up and threw them away),” the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president said in Calcutta today.

“These two cats (referring to the Sixth Schedule and Ghisingh) have been dealt with and now we can concentrate on our movement to achieve Gorkhaland,” a triumphant, garlanded Gurung added.

The Morcha president said once Ghisingh resigned and an administrator — a “senior IAS officer” — was appointed in his place, the GNLF chief’s remaining supporters in Darjeeling would be “allowed” to take away his personal belongings from his Lal Kothi abode, which is the DGHC headquarters. Gurung said at today’s meeting he had requested the Bengal chief minister not to try and send Ghisingh back to the hills.

“We will ask the administrator not to allow them to remove any documents from Lal Kothi. He should then scrutinise the files and tell the people of the hills how Ghisingh has stolen their money,” Gurung said.

It was, however, clear that both the DGHC and elections were not welcome. Asked if his party would take part in DGHC elections, Gurung was guarded in his answer.

“The DGHC does not exist and we will have to act once more if another cat comes in the way of our progress towards statehood,” Gurung said, implying that imposing elections on the part of the Bengal government would not be acceptable.

“Today we are proud of the 211 people who have been on hunger strike since February 17. Their sacrifice is a great contribution to what we achieved today,” Gurung said.

The Morcha chief added that he had no desires to occupy Ghisingh’s seat.

“He wanted the Sixth Schedule but failed to explain it to the people of the hills He was Bengal’s chowkidar (watchman) for all these years. He did not understand the schedule himself.”

Asked what the Morcha strategy would be if the GNLF, too, raised the Gorkhaland demand, Gurung said: “He (Ghisingh) used it to stay in power for 20 years and rule over us. Let him try it again with no support base.”

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