Kolkata: A month ahead of the election to the Gorkha Territorial Administration, or GTA—the semi-autonomous administrative body for the Darjeeling and Kurseong districts—the tussle between the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee intensified with Gorkha leader Bimal Gurung on Tuesday threatening to revive the movement for a separate state.
While the chief minister is visiting Darjeeling, the GJM took out a rally in the town on Tuesday to protest against her “divisive politics". Speaking to journalists, GJM chief Gurung said in Darjeeling that he may resign as the chief executive officer of GTA and start a strike in the hills to press for Gorkhaland.
Banerjee has created 10 separate boards for local development, which Gurung claimed was a means to divide communities.
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Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is threatening to make inroads into the GJM’s stronghold in the hills. Her party has already seized the Mirik civic body. Whereas the 2012 GTA election was a cakewalk for the GJM with many of its 45 candidates winning uncontested, this year the party is likely to face stiff opposition from the Trinamool Congress.
On Monday, Banerjee said at a rally in Mirik that the GJM had failed to deliver on its promise of development and that it was time the local people gave the Trinamool Congress an opportunity to turn things around.