Friday, May 26, 2023 06:00 [IST]
Last Update: Friday, May 26, 2023 00:19 [IST]
KOLKATA, (IANS): Will the Congress- Left Front alliance in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections find support from the local political forces in the hills of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong in north Bengal?
That is precisely the question floating around in the corridors of power in West Bengal following comments by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Supremo Bimal Gurung noting his growing differences with the BJP, which had been getting the backing of the GJM since the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Gurung, before leaving for Delhi on Thursday, though being silent on the purpose of his visit to the national capital, made a significant statement as he said that not the BJP but his party will be backing any political force which would take genuine initiative to bring about a permanent political solution in the hills.
"I am not with the BJP anymore. Those who will support our demand will be reciprocated by us," Gurung said.
His comments have come as a surprise for the political observers since Gurung recently had a meeting with the BJP Lok Sabha member from Darjeeling Raju Singh Bista and after the meeting, both showered praises on each other.
While Gurung's statements hinted towards his growing differences with BJP, the comments by estranged Trinamool Congress leader from the hills Binoy Tamang, who has recently gone cosy with both GJM and Ajay Edwards-founded Hamro Party, was a clear hint of his tilting towards Congress in the 2024 polls.
According to him, whatever developments had been there in the hills was during the Congress tenure at the Centre. He also praised the role of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi in taking the party towards a sweeping victory in the Karnataka Assembly polls.
"The hills of Darjeeling gifted BJP with an MP thrice in 2009, 2014 and 2019. None of them were sons of the soil. But what did the people of the hills get out of them. Rather the Gorkha Hill Council was formed in 1986 when late Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. Similarly, in 2007 the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration was formed with Dr Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister," he said.However, the third partner in the triangle political alliance in the hills, Hamro Party is yet to make its stand clear in the matter.