Saturday, March 08, 2008

Gurung sings tourism tune

Bagdogra, March 7: Bimal Gurung today signalled he wants the turmoil in the hills to end, assuring the people that his party would not do anything that might affect tourism, Darjeeling’s biggest bread-earner.

The indefinite bandh and fast launched by Gurung’s Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had crippled the hills.

“It was off-season then,” Gurung said when asked if the tourism industry had already taken a hit.

The tourist season starts from February-end.

“The hills will soon witness a steady flow of tourists. We will not resort to any activity that might affect the sector on which thousands of people depend for their livelihood,” he added.

Gurung left it to the people to decide whether to let Subash Ghisingh enter the hills after he resigns as caretaker administrator of the DGHC.

One of the conditions on which the Morcha withdrew its indefinite protest was that Ghisingh would have to step down from the hill council.

The Morcha has shut out Ghisingh from the hills since his return from Delhi on February 18.

In an interview to The Telegraph, the Morcha chief had yesterday said that if the cry for Gorkhaland was ignored, it might spiral into something “beyond statehood”.

Ghisingh, too, has revived the Gorkhaland call, in a delayed bid to upstage Gurung, a former GNLF leader.