Amid series of protests against GJM leader Bimal Gurung by his opposition camp in the Hills, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked Binoy Tamang (anti-Bimal) for a talk at the state secretariat on November 3 in Kolkata.
Mamata’s intervention came after the Hills had witnessed massive protests against Bimal Gurung ever since he extended his support to Mamata Banerjee on October 21 in the coming Assembly Polls in 2021.
The protests were organised by the Binoy Tamang and Anik Thapa’s factions of GJM who alleged that Bimal Gurung did nothing for the Gorkha people and he is only after plum posts.
Speaking to News18, a senior TMC minister said, “Yes, it is true that our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked Binoy to meet her at the state secretariat on November 3 to discuss various issues related to Hills including his differences with Bimal Tamang.”
Many in the TMC felt that – ahead of the polls – it is important to convince Binoy Tamang to resolve differences with Bimal considering party’s future plans.
Binoy camp became close to Mamata after Bimal Gurung took side of BJP and helped the saffron brigade in the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in Bengal. Binoy’s camp became agitated when Mamata welcome’s Bimal Gurung’s decision to support the TMC.
GJM supremo Bimal Gurung, on the run since 2017 following an agitation for statehood in Darjeeling, had said on October 21, “We supported the BJP for 12 years but nothing happened to our demand despite their assurances of fulfilling our promise. Today I would like to announce that I am going to support Mamata Banerjee in the upcoming 2021 Assembly polls. I am not supporting the NDA anymore.”
Earlier, on August 4, 2012, with a slogan of “Jai Darjeeling”, swearing in ceremony of GTA elected members was held in Darjeeling and union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who was present on the occasion after being invited by Mamata, has announced that the central government already sanctioned Rs 200 crores for the development of hills.
Then, many elected GTA members including Bimal Gurung referred Mamata as “Ma” and claimed that all credit goes to her for making GTA a platform for development in the hills.
However, the bonhomie – which helped many electoral and political gains for both – could not lasted for long as Bimal Gurung took side of the BJP in 2017 and revolted against Mamata after she reconstituted the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and appointed rebel Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Binoy Tamang its chairperson on September 20, 2017.
The GTA, is the regional autonomous body set up as a result of a tripartite agreement between the Centre, the State and the GJM in 2011.
GJM president Bimal Gurung was elected as the chief executive of the body in 2012, but he and other office bearers of the GTA resigned on June 23, 2017 when the agitation for the separate Gorkhaland State gained ground in the hills.
Then, to break the growing influence of Bimal Gurung and his tilt towards the BJP, Mamata had said, “We have taken a very important decision Under Section 65 of the GTA Act. We have appointed a Board of Administrators comprising eight members to look after the functioning of GTA and Binoy Tamang will be its Chairperson.”
Now after Bimal Gurung’s ‘Ghar Wapsi’ – Binoy Tamang faction felt that they might be insignificant in the Hills politics and started organising protests to meet against Bimal.
This prompted Mamata to intervene because she didn’t want to give any chance to the BJP to cash on Binoy – especially when the Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will be camping in Darjeeling for the entire November.