Darjeeling ballot litmus take a look at of GJM’s reputation


Shubhadeep Choudhury

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, March 25

The April 17 election in Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong will decide if the faith of people in Gorkha leader Bimal Gurung is intact.

Gurung is no longer a BJP ally. Frustrated with the party for not helping him carve out from West Bengal a separate state for the Gorkhas, Gurung has thrown his weight behind his arch enemy Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and Chief Minister of West Bengal.

When Gurung fled the hills following multiple cases slapped against him by the Mamata Banerjee-led state government, Anit Thapa and Binoy Tamang took over the reins of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) party, founded by Gurung.


Party Committed to Gorkhaland

  • Frustrated with BJP for not helping carve out from Bengal a separate state for Gorkhas, Bimal Gurung has thrown his weight behind his arch enemy Mamata
  • The Gorkha leader will have to convince the voters that his commitment to the Gorkhaland demand has not got diluted by his recent bonhomie with Didi

After Gurung’s return to Darjeeling following his deal with Mamata, Thapa and Tamang stayed away from him. As a result, the GJM now has two factions — one led by Gurung and the other by Tamang.

This time, the TMC has decided not to field any candidate in the hills. Mamata said the three hill constituencies would be fought by her “friends”. She did not clarify which GJM faction she wanted her supporters to vote for.

Both GJM factions have announced candidates for Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. The BJP, which left the Assembly seats for the Gurung-led GJM in the past, won the byelection held for the Darjeeling Assembly seat in 2019 with Gurung’s backing. The GJM does mention the demand of Gorkhaland in its manifesto. The Gorkha leader will have to convince the voters that his commitment to the Gorkhaland demand has not got diluted by his recent bonhomie with Mamata.



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