Sept. 22: Bimal Gurung will meet Mamata Banerjee during her visit to the hills, fuelling speculation that he was keen to be in her good books especially since the Trinamul Congress chief is a key player in state politics.
Gurung’s outfit, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, has also chalked out a welcome programme for Mamata, whose Darjeeling plans according to her party sources, however, have not yet been firmed up.
The Morcha is in fact going out of its way to welcome the Mamata with a gesture, which has not been extended to any political leader from Bengal till date. “A delegation headed by our party chief Bimal Gurung will be meeting her in Darjeeling. We have asked our party workers to welcome her all along the route and we will also request the hill people to attend her public meeting in Darjeeling,” said Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Morcha.
In the past, the Morcha had even objected to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee coming to the hills and has strong words always to condemn the “gimmick tours” of other Bengal ministers as well.
Trinamul general secretary and central minister Mukul Roy said no dates for Mamata’s visit had been fixed yet. “As of now, Didi has not yet planned her Darjeeling visit,” said Roy today. “We will wait and watch to see what the fallout of the Ayodhya case verdict will be. Only after that will she chalk out her future plans. But yes, our leader has said she will be visiting Singur on September 25.”
About the Morcha support to Mamata’s visit to the hills, Roy said: “We appreciate the fact that the Morcha has decided to welcome our leader during her visit, whenever it takes place.”
The Morcha went a step further and maintained that it would be “good” if “Mamata visited the sites where the indefinite hunger strikes were on. Since September 17, Morcha members have been on indefinite fast on the premises of the district magistrate’s office, demanding that Nickole Tamang be produced alive in court. Nickole, a central committee member of the Morcha who had been arrested for his role in the murder of ABGL leader Madan Tamang, had disappeared from CID custody on August 22. The Morcha has alleged that Nickole was killed in cop custody.