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Rebels seek more councillors' backing

Anit Thapa in Kalimpong
The Binay Tamang camp of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has set out on a mission to win over party councillors at Kalimpong municipality, after ensuring the support of vast majority of members at Kurseong and Darjeeling civic bodies.
With that gal in mind and in order to reach out to the people of Kalimpong as well, Anit Thapa arrived here today, a day ahead of Tamang's scheduled visit.
This is the first foray by Tamang and Thapa into Kalimpong after they fell out with Morcha president Bimal Gurung and their nomination as the chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the state government-appointed GTA board of administrators.
Thapa, the second tallest leader in the Morcha rebel camp after Tamang, claimed the councillors of the Kalimpong civic body were already with them.
"The fact that Kalimpong (councillors) is not being able to directly proclaim that it is with Bimal Gurung means it is indirectly with us...There is a message there," he told reporters.
Thapa was referring to the statement of Kalimpong municipality chairman Suva Pradhan, who had yesterday evaded a direct answer when asked which Morcha faction his board was supporting. "Our concern is on getting the work done in the municipality," he had said.
Out of total 23 councillors at Kalimpong, 21 belong to the Morcha.
Sources said Thapa and Tamang were very keen to win over the allegiance of the Kalimpong board during their visit.
Former GTA members Samuel Gurung and Kalpana Tamang in Kalimpong district had already joined the rebel camp.
Thapa extended an olive branch to the Morcha's Kalimpong branch when he said the local leaders should run the party according to their wishes not at the bidding of the high command.
"I want to send a message to the people and leaders of Kalimpong. The leaders must run Kalimpong on their own strength. They are from Kalimpong and they must run according to their wishes...Till now, Kalimpong used to be run at the orders of the high command. They should be allowed to run it in their own manner," he said.
Thapa said the purpose of their visit to Kalimpong was not to talk about the GTA, but to clear many misconceptions about them among the people. "We have not entered Kalimpong to talk about the GTA. There are so many misconceptions about us among the people. We want to clear those... There are so many allegations against us. We want to explain our position to the people," he said.
Thapa will be present tomorrow when Tamang is slated to interact with a cross-sections of people at the Deolo Tourist Lodge. Tamang is also expected to address the public on the lodge compound.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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