Burying its hatchet with BJP, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has decided to support the former’s candidates not only in Darjeeling, but also in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar. Bolstered by the support, BJP is likely to field either Bappi Lahiri or Rajiv Pratap Rudy for the Darejeeling Lok Sabha seat.
On Saturday, Baichung had called up GJM chief Bimal Gurung, seeking his support. But the state BJP and GJM had already brokered a “deal” by then, which awaited only a formal nod from the BJP headquarters.
“After meeting BJP president Rajnath Singh, GJM has decided to extend full support to candidates fielded by BJP all over India and Darjeeling. I would appeal to all Gorkhas to support BJP all over India,” Gurung said on Monday. GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang, camping in Delhi with Gurung, said: “We have asked BJP that our long-standing demand be placed in its manifesto.”
In 2009, GJM had agreed to support BJP after the latter included the statehood demand in its election manifesto. In the 2011 assembly elections, GJM supported Wilson Champramari, a tribal Independent candidate from Kalchini in Alipurduar, and Joseph Munda of Congress from the Nagrakata seat of Jalpaiguri . Both won by sizeable margins.
BJP state president Rahul Sinha told media in Kolkata: “I had been to New Delhi on March 7, when the first list of BJP candidates was released. It was then that we decided to keep aside Darjeeling and Alipurduar due to ongoing talks with GJM. At such a late stage, it wasn’t possible to accommodate any new name. Therefore, GJM has decided to support BJP candidates in Darjeeling and Alipurduar.” Trinamool didn’t express any surprise. North Bengal affairs minister Gautam Deb said, “They had always courted BJP.”
570 total views, 2 views today