That Gurung has decided to station himself in Kalimpong for a couple of days is an indicator that the Morcha is not taking the contest with the Jan Andolan Party, led by Chhetri, lightly.
The Morcha chief, of course, would not say the fight is tough. "Looking at the election campaign that is being undertaken by the various units of the party. I can say that our position is very good in Kalimpong. I will be spending the next few days in Kalimpong," Gurung said.
He said when "our own people" did not raise the demand for Gorkhaland, the BJP's S.S. Ahluwalia did.
He did not mention Chhetri by name, but there was little left to doubt whom Gurung could be indicating as "our own people".
He called the JAP "opportunists".
"A few opportunists are working in Kalimpong for their own personal interest. However, they will get a fitting reply on April 17," Gurung said.
The hills vote on April 17.
The JAP will hold a public meeting at Pedong tomorrow.
Amar Lama, member of the JAP's bureau, said: "It looks like Bimal Gurung has gone to Kalimpong to win back our supporters. However, I can assure you that our supporters are # determined and they will not buy the Morcha's empty promises. The people of Kalimpong are determined to achieve district status."
One of the JAP's major planks for the election is district status for Kalimpong.
Morcha, on the other hand, is accusing Trinamul, which is supporting Harka in Kalimpong, of dividing the hill community.
Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, said Gurung would be addressing public meetings in Darjeeling and Kurseong on April 9 and 10, respectively, and in Kalimpong on April 13.
The Morcha candidates have been allotted the candle symbol, while Harka has been allotted the whistle symbol for the elections.
While Chhetri could not be contacted, Amar Lama, reacted to the opportunist tag on the JAP president and said: "If there are opportunists in the hills, they are the Morcha leaders. As far as the BJP MP of Darjeeling is concerned, he should have moved a bill on statehood in Parliament. In fact, the JAP has already drafted a bill that we will hand over to Ahluwaliah in Delhi after the Assembly elections."