GJM hints at distancing with BJP over 'Gorkhaland' issue

National |  IANS  | Published :

Kolkata, July 28 (IANS) After facing a disaster in the hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong in the recently concluded panchayat polls in West Bengal, the BJP seems to be heading for yet another complication with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supremo Bimal Gurung hinting at distancing his party with the saffron camp unless the latter announces its definite standpoint on the issue of separate 'Gorkhaland' state.

"BJP will have to come open about its stand on separate Gorkhaland state. We will wait till August 15 to see whether the Prime Minister gives any specific message on this Gorkhaland issue. If there is no such mention, we will be forced to take our movement in demand of the separate state to the national capital," Gurung said on Friday.

He also said that on August 4, the GHM will organise a rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in support of their demand for a separate state.  "This movement will be for the sake of our Gorkha identity. We need a government at New Delhi who understands the sentiments of the Gorkhas," Gurung added.

Political observers see this statement as a note of caution for BJP considering that the saffron camp managed to get its candidates elected from Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency thrice in 2009, 2014 and 2019 entirely because of the backing from GJM.

However, in the recently concluded panchayat polls BJP's alliance with eight local hill parties, including GJM faced major set-back, with Trinamool Congress- backed and Anit Thapa founded Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) emerging the winner in the majority of the seats contested in the rural civic body polls.

However, BJP state president in Darjeeling district Kalyan Diwan described the statements by Gurung as an immature one. "The issue of separate statehood involves a lot of complications and cannot be settled in minutes. It needs lots of discussions. There is no point in opening a front against the Union government on this issue," he said.

Recently, BJP also faced criticism from his own party legislator from Kurseong Vishnu Prasad Sharma who claimed that poor results of his party and its allies from the hill areas of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts in the recently concluded panchayat polls in the state was because of outsiders who had been dumped in the hills by the leadership.

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