Siliguri, July 28: The hills are rife with speculation that the convener of the Terai branch committee of the GNLF, Rajen Mukhia, will join the ABGL that has invited him to a joint movement against the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
Mukhia said he was seriously considering the request and a decision would be taken in a couple of days.
Dawa Sherpa, the ABGL working president, today said: “We have written to a number of leaders across the hills, requesting them to join the ABGL to strengthen the movement against the atrocities of the Morcha and to strive for restoration of democracy and peace in the hills. The list includes Rajen Mukhia and we are waiting to hear from him. We would appreciate if he joins the ABGL but it is up to him to take the final decision.”
Mukhia was the only leader to stay in the GNLF when the Morcha was gaining support base in the hills and even party chairman Subash Ghisingh went into political hibernation.
Acknowledging the invitation, Mukhia said: “I am considering the invitation. It will take a couple of days before I take a decision.”
GNLF supporters in Panighata, where Mukhia is based, said he had already made up his mind to join the ABGL.
“Mukhia was present at a rally here (Panighata) organised in memory of those who had lost their lives during the Gorkhaland agitation in the 1980s. He said in his speech that yesterday was the last martyrs’ day observed by the GNLF in Panighata, which was enough to indicate that he was leaving the party. If he joins the ABGL, all his supporters like me will follow suit,” said a GNLF leader over the phone from Panighata.
If Mukhia joins the ABGL, it would be the last nail on the GNLF’s coffin. Only Mukhia and Kalimpong leader Dawa Pakhrin remained active after the emergence of the Morcha. As Pakhrin had resigned from the party, Mukhia’s departure will trigger the exodus of rest of supporters from the GNLF.