Siliguri, 22 September: AMIDST the on-going upheaval in Darjeeling politics, the advisor to Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Swaraj Thapa on Tuesday called on the Siliguri Mayor and CPI-M leader Asok Bhattacharya.
Thapa, who was a senior journalist with the Indian Express group in Delhi before joining the GTA as advisor in 2011, met Bhattacharya at the Siliguri Municipal Corporation around noon on Tuesday. He is very close to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supremo Bimal Gurung, who heads the autonomous GTA as its chief executive.
Both the Siliguri Mayor and Thapa maintained that the meeting was a courtesy call. But political observers suspect that a political understanding might be cooking between the CPI-M and the GJM as Trinamool Congress happens to be prime rival for both the parties.
GJM has some strong base among the Nepali speaking people living in and around Siliguri where the Mahakuma Parishad elections are scheduled on 3 October.
|From the left Swaraj Thapa and Asok Bhattacharya|
Bhattacharya however, acknowledged that they did discuss the political situation of Darjeeling Hills. “It was a courtesy call as I have known Thapa for several years now. But during the course of the discussion Darjeeling politics did came up,” the Mayor said.
“At present, Hills politics is not on our agenda. It shall be our focus at a later stage. But it is true that both the people of the Hills and Siliguri want to defeat the Trinamool,” he added brushing aside the possibility of any immediate understanding with the GJM.
The meeting comes at a time when two top GJM leaders have resigned from the party in a span of four days accusing Bimal Gurung of running the party in a dictatorial fashion. Gurung in the meantime has gone to Nepal with some associates and family members “to offer puja” in a temple there.