Kolkata: Signalling a shift in the statehood agitation, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supremo Bimal Gurung on Friday said he would return as chief executive of the Darjeeling hill council at the request of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Gurung, who had resigned from the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in July when the hill outfit stepped up its agitation for a separate state of Gorkhaland, would take oath of office at Raj Bhavan on December 26.
"We had a very good discussion. The Chief Minister has requested me to come back as GTA chief. GTA is my dream and it is also the dream of the CM," Gurung told reporters after a 20-minute meeting with Banerjee at the state secretariat.
The meeting between Banerjee and Gurung was the first since January this year when she had to face slogan-shouting supporters of the GJM in Darjeeling during the inauguration of the Darjeeling leg of the Uttarbanga Utsav.
GTA Sabha members had unanimously passed a resolution seeking Gurung`s reinstatement as its chief on December 16.
To a question, Gurung said, "We are now concentrating how to make the GTA more effective and the Gorkhaland issue was not a point of discussion at today`s meeting."
The GJM`s U-turn came after bitterness with the state government since July when Gurung quit the GTA after the UPA gave its nod to Telangana and the hill party launched a fresh stir in their demand for a separate Gorkhaland.
On relations between the GJM and the state government, Gurung said, "In a family there is a mother, a sister and other children. Problems crop up, but are sorted out. The problems can be resolved through discussions and you (the media) please should not create a hindrance."
"There is complete peace in Darjeeling and we request tourists to visit the hills more as the climate is very good now. There was snowfall in Darjeeling yesterday," Gurung said.
On the release of jailed GJM leaders, Gurung said, "There was a good discussion and we can expect a good results. We hope that within two or three days a solution to the problem would be found."
He said he had requested the CM to hold panchayat polls in the hills in July after the Lok Sabha elections. The GJM delegation held a separate 45-minute meeting with Finance Minister Amit Mitra and Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra on development and other issues.