Virtually throwing a challenge to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the state administration, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) President Bimal Gurung on Thursday projected himself as the "Chief Minister of the hills", saying his writ ran in the area.
"She is showing her power. She is the Chief Minister of Bengal. Then, I am also the elected member (of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration or GTA), the Chief Minister of the hills.
"if her coercive tactics run there (plains), then my coercive tactics run here (the hills)," Gurung said on a day the army marched into Darjeeling after thousands of angry GJM activists indulged in arson and threw bombs and stones at police, injuring 15.
As many as 12,000 tourists were stranded in the hill station due to the violence.
Banerjee is now in Darjeeling, where her Cabinet met during the day.
It was the first time in 45 years that the Cabinet meeting was held in Darjeeling.