Gurung paused Delhi trip to attend CM program in Darjeeling

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Chief Bimal Gurung
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung in a last minute decision has cancelled his Delhi trip and instead has decided to attend Tuesday’s government program with chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Darjeeling, to keep alight the renewed bonhomie.
The GJM president was supposed to leave for Varanasi today, to engage in pre-planned prayer rituals there. He was than to head to Delhi to meet central ministers and also the Prime Minister and return back to Darjeeling on August 30.
The Bengal chief minister arrived in Darjeeling today evening and will launch the pre-announced “Clean and Green Darjeeling” project at Chowrastha on Tuesday.
The clean and green Darjeeling project was originally scheduled to be launched by the CM on August 6. However, the flood situation in Bengal at that time forced Banerjee to cancel her trip to the Hills. Gurung on the other hand had left for Delhi on August 1 but had apprised the CM about his absence.
However this time, political analysts said Gurung did not want to give the impression that he was avoiding the chief minister. “If Gurung had left without meeting or attending the program it would send the wrong signal that he was purposely avoiding the Bengal CM. After much give and take, relation between the GJM and the state government is started to mend. Gurung now does not want the Banerjee to bear any kind of misunderstanding,” the analyst pointed out.
To ensure no bad-air in the event of his absence, the GJM chief during had instructed his Sabhasads and party leaders to give the CM a warm welcome during the Sahid Diwas program on July 27 when he had initially said he would not be in Darjeeling.
Most GJM leaders were either tight lipped or gave vague reasons for Gurung’s sudden turn. “It has been decided that our party president will attend the launch program of clean and green Darjeeling which is being organized jointly by the state government and the GTA. He (Gurung) will now instead head to Varanasi on August 26,” said GJM general secretary, Roshan Giri without answering if Gurung or other party leaders would sit for a separate meeting with the chief minister.
Banerjee was accorded a warm welcome by members of the All India Bhutia Association (AIBA) near the Gorkha Ranga Manch Bhawan on her arrival. On August 26 the CM will sit for a meeting with the Tribal Advisory Council and then head back to Kolkata the next day.(EOI)

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