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GJM chief Bimal Gurung wants Ahluwalia to get berth in cabinet

GJM President Bimal Gurung BJP candidate in Darjeeling Surinder Singh SS Ahluwalia
Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) chief Bimal Gurung has expressed hope that BJP MP from Darjeeling, SS Ahluwalia, would be given a ministerial berth in the Narendra Modi cabinet soon.
On his return from Delhi where he and three other GJMM leaders attended Mr Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, Mr Gurung told reporters at Bagdogra airport here that he does not feel that Mr Ahluwalia was not given a berth in the cabinet as the BJP wanted to keep the door open for the Trinamul Congress.
"This is not true. Mr Ahluwalia will certainly get the berth after one month," he said. Mr Gurung meant that the BJP MP could join the cabinet if it is shuffled or expanded in the very near future.
The GJMM had earlier expressed optimism about the inclusion of Mr Ahluwalia in the cabinet.
Mr Gurung further said they held discussions with the BJP leadership in Delhi over the Gorkhaland demand. "It is obvious that the issue was discussed there. We met the BJP leaders and talked to the NDA leaders over the issue," he said.
In an addendum to its election manifesto, the BJP had mentioned that it would “sympathetically examine and appropriately consider the long-pending demands of the Gorkhas”. The BJP manifesto for the 2009 general election had also mentioned the same.
On the transfer of some departments to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and the reopening of old cases of GJMM activists, Mr Gurung said they may explore legal options.
"If need be, we may knock the doors of the High Court and the Supreme Court. The GTA was constituted following a tripartite agreement involving the Centre, the state and the GJMM,” he said, adding that it was up to the state government to run the GTA.
"We are elected representatives and we do our duty. But it is up to the state government to decide on how it will run the GTA. It is up to them to decide on the funds. The centre is well aware of the functioning of the GTA," Mr Gurung said.
He also blamed north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb for the political violence in the Hills.
"It is the policy of the state government, especially (North Bengal development minister) Gautam Deb, to disturb the Hills. He hired goons to unleash violence, but we want peace to prevail and the state government should take initiatives in this regard in the Hills,” Mr Gurung said. He added that his party will not organize strikes/bandhs in the
Hills.
Mr Gurung further said they would visit Delhi again and discuss several issues.(SNS)

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