Day before 2nd leg of meeting on hills, team Gurung desparate for invitation

Report by: 
Prashant Acharya
SILIGURI
11 Sep 2017

Ahead of the second round of all-party meeting to solve the Darjeeling crisis at Uttarkannya at Siliguri chief minister Mamata Banerjee today reached Siliguri and had talks with leaders of her party and other officials of the administration.

While the faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) led by its president Bimal Gurung is trying desperately to get an invitation from the government side to attend the meeting, it's is the faction led by GJM general secretary Benoy Tamang which has been invited by the state government to attend the meeting. TMC members from the hills led by convenor Rajen Mukhia welcomed Mamata at Bagdogra airport when she arrived there. Asked about which members from GJM will participate in the meeting minister for tourism Gautam Deb said: “Whether they will be invited in the meeting or not I am not the right person to say. We should respect the aspiration of hill people. They (Morcha) had committed mistakes, now they want to choose the right path.”

Meanwhile while Benoy Tamang has said that he will attend the meeting along with Anit Thapa, Tshering Dahal, R B Bhujel, M K Lama and Karuna Gurung  Morcha has declared the names of six Morcha members-- Kalimpong municipality chairman S Pradhan, Morcha central committee members R B Bhujel, Swaraj Thapa and three MLAs Amar Singh Rai, Sarita Rai and Rohit Sharma who are likely to attend the meet.
On the other hand GNLF has issued a press release on Monday stating that their nine member delegation headed by party chief Maan Ghishing will attend the meeting at Uttarkanya.

The other members include Neeraj Zimba, Mahendra Chhetri, Sanjay Pradhan, Sudesh Rai, Gaish Subba, Puran Rai, Navraj Chhetri and Anand Rai. A Gurung loyalist and MLA from Kalimpong Sarita Rai said: “We have demanded that the chief minister invite three MLAs from hills since we are the elected representatives of the people of the area. Without our presence the meeting will not be fruitful.”