Ghisingh quits DGHC, hill districts celebrate
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Bowing to pressure from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), Subhas Ghisingh -- Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council chief for 20 years -- put in his papers on Monday as sole administrator of the Council.
The GNLF chief handed over his resignation to Darjeeling District Magistrate Rajesh Pandey, who is the ex-officio Principal Secretary of DGHC. Pandey did not disclose the contents of the letter, which was addressed to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
"Yes I have received his resignation," Bhattacharjee said in the Assembly. Later, the chief minister said Ghisingh would go back to the hills in a day or two and that B L Meena, Commissioner of the Jalpaiguri division, would take over from him as DGHC caretaker till the Council's term ended on March 24.
The GNLF chief, who has been camping in Siliguri for the last four days, did not speak to the media after he put in his resignation. An associate said he had a sore throat and could barely talk. Ghisingh, who has put up at a WBSEB guest house in Siliguri, after members of the GJM warned him from entering Darjeeling, will continue to stay in Siliguri for a few more days, it is learnt. Earlier, the GJM leadership had said they would not stop Ghisingh from going to Darjeeling provided he gave up the premiership of the DGHC.
Meanwhile, Rajesh Pandey said the GNLF leader will get the 'Z' category security as "no order for withdrawing it" had been received.
The mood was upbeat in the three hill sub-divisions of the Darjeeling district where thousands came out on the streets after word spread that Ghisingh had resigned. Supporters of the GJM, an outfit launched by Ghisingh's bete noire Bimal Gurung, also joined in the celebrations.
In Kolkata, happy GJM supporters were seen in front of the Gorkha Bhavan in Salt Lake. GJM leader Vinay Sharma said, "He was a stumbling block to the formation of a separate Gorkhaland. We are now one step closer to statehood."
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