Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung made a public appearance on Wednesday after he went absconding since 2017, to say one GJM faction is breaking ties with NDA after 12 years for not following the separate statehood demand for Gorkhaland. Gurung who was once fiercely against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee pledged support for the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).
“We quit NDA. In 2021, we are with Mamata Banerjee. We will work hard to bring her in power for a third term.” Said Bimal Gurung.
Mamata welcomed the decision and more than the support to her party, it was a hard hit at the BJP.
“We welcome Bimal Gurung’s commitment to peace and decision to withdraw support from NDA while reposing faith in Mamata Banerjee's leadership. BJP's attempts to use the Gorkhaland issue for petty politics and their untrustworthy nature now lay fully exposed before the people of Bengal. We're confident that all the key stakeholders in hills, including political parties and GTA (Gorkha Territorial Administration) along with civil society, will work together and join hands with us for the peace and prosperity of our motherland.” Said Mamata’s tweet.
What prompted the BJP-led dispensation to snap ties with the NDA? The sitting Darjeeling MP is Raju Bista. As far as Assembly seats are concerned, GJM contested and won all three seats
“The party we had supported, BJP for 3 terms. Our demand for Gorkhaland will always stay. 2024 is our solution year. Any party who supports it, we will support it,” said Bimal Gurung.
Gurung added, “Even after 12 years with NDA, the commitment, even by having in NDA's manifesto, was not done.”
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury reached out to the opposite faction saying, “In a desperate bid to restore the lost ground in North Bengal Mamata Banerjee thought it prudent to stitch an unholy alliance with the secessionist forces under Mr. Gurung the protagonist of Gorkhaland. The lady who slapped UAPA against Mr. Gurung now is condoning and pampering the same child of her. Now the question is whether Mamata Ji will be conceding the issue of Gorkhaland or Mr. Gurung is going to relinquish the demand of Gorkhaland.”
Gurung was charged under UAPA in connection with a grenade attack at Kalimpong Police station and an explosion in Darjeeling’s Chowk Bazaar area in 2017. He has been absconding since then, with the Special Task Force (STF) on the lookout for the GJM leader, amidst speculations of hiding in other countries like Nepal.