Ghising’s aide quits his Gorkha outfitBy IANS
Saturday, September 18, 2010
SILIGURI - Rajen Mukhiya, a long-time close aide of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) president Subhas Ghising, Saturday joined the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL).
Mukhiya, who resigned from the GNLF last month accusing Ghising of being “inactive” during a vital stage of the hill politics and Gorkhaland movement, announced his decision to join the ABGL at a crowded media meet here in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district.
Mukhiya said: “The GNLF has virtually become extinct. I have pleaded with Ghising so many times to return to the hills and take part in active politics. We also urged him to make his stand clear on the Gorkhaland movement and on ABGL president Madan Tamang’s murder. But he has maintained a stony silence.”
He also alleged that Ghising is maintaining “covert-alliance” with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) which is now spearheading the Gorkhaland movement in the Darjeeling hills. The GJM has been held responsible by its political opponents for the May 21 murder of Tamang, he said.
Accusing the Bimal Gurung-led GJM of fomenting trouble in the hills and ruining its economy, Mukhiya said: “The ABGL is the best platform to fight against the GJM atrocities.”
Along with Mukhiya, the former convenor of GNLF’s Terai branch, hundreds of his followers joined the ABGL. Some GJM leaders like Prakash Subba also announced in the media meet that they were casting their lot with the ABGL.
ABGL working president Dawa Sherpa welcomed Mukhiya and his associates and said: “The downfall of the GJM has started. We will strengthen our movement against the GJM shortly.”
Meanwhile, seven GJM youth leaders have started a hunger strike in front of the district magistrate’s office in Darjeeling town, demanding that the administration present Nicol Tamang, the prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case, before the public.
Nicol Tamang fled from police custody near Siliguri Aug 22 a week after his arrest.
The three subdivisions — Kalimpong, Kurseong and Darjeeling — comprising the hilly areas of Darjeeling district have been on the boil for years with a section of political parties rooting for the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.
The GNLF had been in the forefront of the agitation since the late 1980s and ran the autonomous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, enjoying a virtual monopoly over hill politics. However, the GJM overshadowed the GNLF to seize control of the Gorkhaland movement in 2008.
Ghising was practically driven out of the hills and now stays in the plains of New Jalpaiguri.