Darjeeling University foundation stone laid, Harka gets front seat & chance to speak

Darjeeling University foundation stone jogighat Mungpoo
Darjeeling: The foundation laying of the Darjeeling Hill University here on Wednesday provided a platform that could realign political equations in the region.
Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the president of the Jana Andolan Party, was not only invited to the ceremony but also escorted from the third row to a front seat on the dais by a Bengal government official and asked to deliver a speech.
The foundation stone was laid by chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Chhetri and his party were once close to Mamata but their relations soured after she had publicly said the credit for creating Kalimpong district did not go to just a particular person. The JAP also actively campaigned for the statehood and complained that it wasn't being allowed to organise public meetings in the hills.

Darjeeling University at Jogighat Mungpoo 


In the past few days, the JAP organised two "street corner" meetings in Kalimpong district. Harka has also been critical of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa.
In his speech on Wednesday, Harka made a mention of "Binay Tamang and bhai (brother) Anit".
The speech gave a hint that Harka was aware that his presence would be a talking point in political circles. "I did not think that I would get a chance to speak today, this is like a bonus. I had only come as a visitor."

He then clarified: "In politics, there is a place to fight and there is a place to come together."
The JAP leader said he would continue to fight on issues where there was disagreement.
"It would have been fine if I had not come here today. Many friends asked me if I was going to this event. But this is a programme of the government and not any political party," said Harka.
Urging the Bengal government to help create a distinct brand for the university, Harka said: "This is possible only by the goodwill and gesture of the Honb'le chief minister, Madam Mamata Banerjee."

Apart from Harka, Binay and Anit, Kalimpong MLA Sarita Rai, who has not been politically active of late, was present. So was Bharati Tamang, wife of Late Madan Tamang and leader of the ABGL.
Mann Ghisingh, the president of the GNLF, who had recently discarded the state formed Hill Area Development Committee, was absent. But he had sent GNLF representative Ajoy Edwards to the event.
Observers believe the dignitaries present on the dais could be an indication of a possible political alignment in the hills.
Gorkhaland leader on the run Roshan Giri posted a message on social media on Wednesday "welcoming" Mamata Banerjee's decision to set up the varsity.
"Politics does not mean one should oppose (something) just for the sake of opposing it. In politics, one must say good if a good thing has been done and criticise a bad deed. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha welcomes the decision to set a university at Mungpoo," the statement reads.
Giri said Bimal Gurung had placed the demand for a university in Calcutta in 2012 and the chief minister had agreed to it then.

The Telegraph
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The foundation laying of the Darjeeling Hill University here on Wednesday provided a platform that could realign political equations in the region. Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the president of the Jana Andolan Party, was not only invited to the ceremony but also escorted from the third row to a front seat

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