Takdha (Darjeeling), Feb. 28: T.N. Ghisingh, the GNLF president of the Teesta Valley, today switched over to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
T.N’s move is being seen as a major political development in the hills and has further pushed the GNLF against the wall. Teesta Valley has six tea gardens and a population of about 8,000, most of whom are now with the Morcha.
“I did not win the election on Subash Ghisingh’s ticket. Today I am not surrendering to the Morcha but joining the Gorkhaland movement whole-heartedly. All GNLF leaders from the area will also become primary members of the Morcha at their respective village units. I will no longer continue to be a leader but just a soldier fighting for Gorkhland,” said T.N. at a programme at Bara Mangmaya, about 30km from Darjeeling.
T.N. had won the 1999 election by defeating Keshav Lama, who was then the vice-chairman of the DGHC.
Maypal Yonzone, the secretary of the Teesta Valley Morcha unit, said: “People who have joined us today must not play spoilsport. They must come forward and support the Gorkhland issue wholeheartedly and we welcome T.N. to our party.”
Pasang Bhutia, the joint director of the ecclesiastical department of the DGHC, has also resigned from the council and so has Ashok Chhetri, the spokesperson for the GNLF students’ front.
Manikala Tamang, GNLF commissioner from Ward 30, has said she, too, will resign from both the GNLF and the Darjeeling Municipality once she returns from Delhi.