GANGTOK: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung, who started an indefinite fast in Darjeeling on May 25 to oppose the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) polls, was rushed to Gangtok’s STNM hospital on Monday, a day after he was admitted to a Darjeeling hospital after he fell ill.

West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee wants to hold the GTA polls on June 26, which the BJP is opposed to. The situation has become complicated for the Trinamool Congress (TMC) because the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), the second-largest party in the hills after GJM, have also opposed the polls along with some of the smaller Gorkha outfits.

Gurung was rushed to the Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial (STNM) Hospital in Gangtok, Sikkim on Monday, with his party supporters believing that the Sikkim Government hospital has better facilities.

GJM assistant general secretary Priyavardhan Rai said, “Due to the hunger strike his health has deteriorated; there are high chances of his health condition going severe. He is urinating blood currently, that we feel is very serious. We have come here to get aid in concerns of nephrology and urology.”

Talking of Gurung’s medical condition, Rai shared, “There is a high chance of him going into a cardiac arrest. There is a lot of blood discharge from his urine. He is getting body cramps, his oxygen level has dropped down to 80. Hence, we are in a rush to get him treated.”

STNM Hospital is yet to release details of Gurung’s medical condition.

Despite Siliguri having bigger hospitals and nursing homes, Rai urged people to not see Gurung’s move to the Gangtok hospital as politically motivated or otherwise.

“We have been saying this time and again, that him being brought to Sikkim shouldn’t be seen otherwise. It is being seen from a political perspective. There is no hospital with as much facility as this. People in Sikkim must be proud that they have not realised the facility that they have. From a distance, we are the ones singing praises for the hospital. Knowing that the hospital will be ideal for him, we brought him here,” Rai said.

On being asked if the party sees a threat on Gurung’s life if taken to Siliguri, the GJMM general secretary said, “It’s not about the security threat. If we feel it is right, we would take him to Kolkata itself. It’s the heart of Bengal. After the 2017 (Gorkhaland) agitation, in 2019-20, he visited Kolkata and made many resounding addresses… Whenever Darjeeling has faced difficulties in the past, any trouble or any form of protest for our communities, Sikkim has always stood for us. We have a lot of faith in Sikkim.”

The general secretary highlighted how many central leaders and Tribal Affairs Ministry officials, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista and various legislators have come to visit Gurung in Darjeeling.

STNM Hospital is yet to release details of Gurung’s medical condition.

Also read: Five tourists, local driver die in road accident in North Sikkim


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