PRADIP LOHAGUN, KALIMPONG, 8 Mar 2014: After GJM president Bimal Gurung slammed the TMC for fielding Bhaichung Bhutia from the Darjeeling constituency without taking him into confidence, Morcha spokesperson Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri also expressed extreme displeasure with the decision.
The GJM had apparently expected the TMC to coordinate with it over the LS candidate issue, but the sudden and unilateral decision has given the hill party a shock.
Speaking to journalists today in Kalimpong, Chettri accused the TMC of gross deception.
He said, “The TMC had asked the support of the three hill MLAs during the assembly elections and had promised to support us in the LS polls. But now it has fielded Bhaichung Bhutia without consulting us. This is nothing but betrayal to the hill people.”
Asserting that a party must always interact with its allies before choosing candidates, Chettri said the GJM will now move ahead on its own. However, he declined to divulge the party’s strategy saying he has been unable to talk to party leaders over the past few days due to ill health.
On being asked about Bhaichung’s candidature, the GJM spokesperson said the former footballer seems to have chosen to toss away the love and respect of the hill people for him.
“Had Bhaichung set-up a football academy in Darjeeling, he would have received the full support of the people. But as he has opted to go against the aspirations of Darjeeling, against the fight for national identity and other vital issues, he has lost all the reverence people had for him,” stated Chettri.
The MLA from Kalimpong also claimed Bhaichung has no affection for the people of Darjeeling and his decision to jump to the opportunity without understanding the reality will backfire. According to Chettri, regardless of a loss or a win, Bhaichung Bhutia will be condemned by generations of Darjeeling residents.
Launching further attacks on the former football skipper, the MLA said, “He has no knowledge of politics. For such a person, starting from panchayat polls would have been a far intelligent move to have made instead of leaping to fight in the Lok Sabha election.”
Noting that the GJM had backed the BJP in the 2009 polls following the assurance of support for a Gorkhaland state, Chettri said the party strongly feels a local candidate should be fielded this time.
CAPTION: HB Chettri.
Text and Photo by: EOI
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