GJM may contest three seats in West Bengal

March 24th, 2009 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Siliguri, March 24 (IANS) Keeping all its options open, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), which is leading the movement for a separate Gorkhaland state, Tuesday said it would field candidates in three constituencies in West Bengal if the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not support their demand.
“A three-member delegation from Darjeeling district will join the GJM president Bimal Gurung in Delhi to participate in the final round of talks with the BJP and Congress regarding the Lok Sabha elections,” GJM press and publicity secretary Binoy Tamang told IANS here, adding they would back the party which supports the Gorkhaland demand.

The GJM would even campaign for this party among other Gorkha-dominated areas in Assam, Tripura, Manipur, and Uttarakhand, he said.

Tamang said that in case, no party supports their statehood demand, the GJM would field their own candidates in the three constituencies - Alipurduar, Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri - either as independent candidates or for any party that supports the demand for Gorkhaland.

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

Till the 2004 general elections, support of the Subash Ghising-led Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) was the determining factor in the seat. But with GNLF losing its clout to the GJM, the latter’s backing boosts the chances of any party putting up a candidate in the constituency.

In 2004, the GNLF pitched for the Congress and its candidate Dawa Narbula sailed through.

The GJM has been leading a movement in the hills for a separate Gorkhaland state to be carved out of Darjeeling district besides parts of neighbouring Jalpaiguri district in the northern part of the state.

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