All the 17 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) councillors of the Kurseong Municipality and 22 GJM councillors in the Darjeeling Municipality have extended their support to the rebel party faction led by Binay Tamang, its leaders claimed today.
"These councillors (of Kurseong) have extended their support to us. In the next few days, other leaders will also support the leadership of Binay Tamang," rebel GJM leader Anit Thapa said.
He claimed that the GJM councillors joined the Tamang faction during the party's foundation day programme yesterday.
In the Kurseong Municipality, the GJM had won 17 wards and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) the remaining three in the polls held in May.
The GJM had won 31 of the Darjeeling Municipality's 32 wards, while the TMC won the remaining one.
Of those 31 GJM councillors in Darjeeling, 22 had extended their support to Tamang, claimed one of them, Pranita Rai.
Rai also claimed that the other councillors too would join the Tamang camp.
Tamang and Thapa, who have been appointed the chairman and vice chairman of the Board of Administrators (BoA) respectively by the TMC government in West Bengal, were expelled from the GJM by its chief Bimal Gurung for allegedly compromising on the cause of creating a separate state of Gorkhaland.
The chairman of the Kurseong municipality, Krishna Limbu, a Gurung loyalist, was arrested last month for his alleged involvement in violence in the hills.
GJM supporters loyal to Tamang had removed Gurung's photographs from the party office in Kalimpong yesterday.
Gurung, against whom a look out notice was issued by the state CID last month for allegedly instigating violence, rioting, killings, explosions and arson, has been on the run since then.
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