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GTA to felicitate Ari Bahadur on Constitution Day

Ari Bahadur Gurung and his twin daughters kalimpong
The GTA has found a local hero in Kalimpong, a subdivision where Harka Bahadur Chhetri has started a campaign to make the area a separate district.

Ari Bahadur Gurung, a lawyer who breathed his last on July 4, 1980, but who represented the Gorkhas in the Constituent Assembly is the poster boy of the GTA's choice.

Binay Tamang, an executive GTA Sabha member and senior Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader, said the hill autonomous body would posthumously felicitate Ari Bahadur and also honour his family on November 26, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared would observed as Constitution Day.

The Morcha's Bimal Gurung and Chhetri, who recently quit the hill party, have been in a game of one-upmanship to get district status for Kalimpong.

Tamang today said: "The GTA has decided to observe Constitution Day on November 26, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday. At the event we will pay our respects to Ari Bahadur Gurung, a member of the Constituent Assembly and one of the signatories to the Constitution. We will also felicitate his family members."

The Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949.

The GTA had previously never shown any interest in Ari Bahadur Gurung who, when alive, was a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) whose chief Madan Tamang was hacked to death by suspected Morcha activists.

Although the felicitation will be organised by the GTA, which the Morcha controls, Tamang said senior BJP leaders and Union ministers would be invited to the event. "But their names haven't been finalised yet," he said.

Observers believe the felicitation will give the Morcha base a fillip in Kalimpong, where local MLA Chhetri has been mobilising other parties to demand a separate district.

Chhetri is now the chief co-ordinator of Kalimpong District Demand Committee on Saturday.(TT)

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