Allies unhappy with GJM for its liaison with BJP

April 3rd, 2009 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Siliguri (West Bengal), April 3 (IANS) The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha’s (GJM) decision to align with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) drew sharp reactions from its allies in the Darjeeling hills, who said supping with the BJP would not help the cause of Gorkhaland.
The Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM) and the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) expressed unhappiness at their ally GJM joining the NDA.

The BJP, promising a separate state of Gorkhaland, got a new ally in the GJM, which will support BJP candidate Jaswant Singh for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal.

The GJM, which earlier declared that parties or formations seeking its support for the Darjeeling seat would have to adopt a pro-Gorkhaland stance, had been deliberating with both the Congress and the BJP over the past few weeks.

At one point of time, the GJM even hinted at putting up its own candidate.

The GJM leadership is understood to have impressed upon the BJP that aligning with it will prove profitable for the party in around 10 seats spread over West Bengal and neighbouring seats that have a significant Gorkha population.

CPRM central committee member I.K. Sharma, voicing the party’s unhappiness over the unilateral decision taken by the GJM, said: “Earlier, at an all-party meeting it was decided that a joint decision will be taken on this. But the GJM did not speak to us. We will hold a meeting Saturday to decide our next course of action.”

ABGL central committee member Laxman Pradhan said majority of the people in the hills did not like the BJP. “People will not vote for the BJP, which doesn’t have a base in Darjeeling,” he said.

“We will contact other parties and sit with them. The GJM has miscalculated,” he said.

Pradhan said his party will also speak to Subhas Ghising, chief of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), who is now in neighbouring Jalapiguri district. “We will see if we can give a joint candidate.”

West Bengal’s ruling Left Front major Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), however, said it was not concerned at the latest happening.

The Ghising-led GNLF was the dominant party in the hills till early last year, and ran the hill development body Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC). However, the GNLF lost its clout to the GJM, which later used strongarm tactics to force Ghising out of the hills.

Since the 1990s, the Darjeeling seat has been won by the party that secures the backing of the dominant outfit in the hills.

Till the 2004 general elections, the GNLF was the determining factor in the seat. But this time the GJM’s backing is likely to make the BJP’s Jaswant Singh a formidable candidate in the constituency.

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