As posters on public walls came up in Kurseong town against his recent statements on Kurseong being like a ‘public toilet,’ Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha leader Bimal Gurung today clarified that his statements had been misinterpreted on social media.
Addressing his party activists from Kurseong at his home village of Patleybas in Darjeeling some days ago, Mr Gurung had compared Kurseong town to a ‘toilet.’ Also, a short video clip of his statements went viral on social media.
On his way to Siliguri from Darjeeling today, Mr Gurung stopped by the Kurseong Tourist Lodge, where he told reporters that his statement had been circulated and portrayed in a wrong way.
According to him, during his tenure as the chief of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), he had started different tourism-related projects in and around Kurseong, but that after the 2017 agitation, no step was taken to develop those projects.
“Due to lack of proper tourism infrastructure and projects, Kurseong is being ignored in the field of tourism. And accordingly, tourists stop by only to relieve themselves,” Mr Gurung explained. “As such, I was actually trying to highlight that no positive measures were taken to project Kurseong as a tourism destination, and that was what I meant,” he added.
According to him, only a short portion of the conversation was being shown in the video clip that is being circulated around.
He further said that during his tenure, he had initiated different tourism projects like the Beltar Water Kingdom and Rohini Ropeway in Kurseong, “but all these projects are presently gathering dust.”
He said that apart from the tourism projects, several tea estates are closed in the Hills “under the present leadership or dispensation.” Mr Gurung also claimed that he had been making efforts to re-open these closed tea estates presently.
On his agenda in the Plains, Mr Gurung said that he would visit different areas there and campaign against the BJP. He iterated that though they had supported the BJP, the party did nothing for them. “The BJP leadership is still giving false assurances regarding the demand for tribal status to 11 Gorkha communities,” he said.
Meanwhile, asked about the posters against Mr Gurung and his statements on Kurseong town, GTA chairman and leader of the other faction of the Morcha, Anit Thapa, said that all people love their own place. “Hence, definitely such statements can hurt the sentiments of Kurseong residents. This may be reason that posters have been put up against him. Leaders should correct their language before speaking or delivering any such statement,” Mr Thapa said.