Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has given the green signal to the candidature of BJP vice-president Surinder Singh Ahluwalia for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat. In 2009, Jaswant Singh had won the seat with a margin of 2.5 lakh votes with GJM support.
“We have decided to extend our support to Ahluwaliasaab, It was the only name sent to us by the BJP and we will fight for his win,’’ Roshan Giri, GJM general secretary, told The Indian Express.
He added that his party will extend the support to BJP candidates from neighbouring Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri.
Ahluwalia, 63, who is the party’s election in-charge for the north-eastern states, and a close aide of GJM president Bimal Gurung, said he will fight for the fulfilment of the hopes and aspirations of the people of the hills.
“At present, I have got an election to win. As far as my future plans are concerned, the duty of all the people representing a constituency is to speak for the aspirations and demands of the people who elected him. I will be going to Darjeeling to chalk out my next line of action,’’ he said.
Ahluwalia, a former Rajya Sabha member, was born in Asansol and did his LLB from Calcutta University.
BJP state president, Rahul Sinha welcomed the move and said: “We have recommended his name. I am happy the the central leadership has approved his name.’’
The GJM is hoping that the man from Burdwan will be more accessible than his predecessor Jaswant Singh.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress candidate from Darjeeling is football star Baichung Bhutia, who is strongly opposed by the GJM.
BJP third list has seven names from Bengal
BJP has named 74 candidates nationally in its third list of Lok Sabha candidates, of which seven are from Bengal. Former MP SS Aluwalia will be contesting from Darjeeling. Virendra Oraon will field from Alipurduar, Bishnupada Ray from Malda (South), Debesh Adhikary from Behrampore, Bibhash Bandopadhyay from Purulia, Biplab Mondal from Joynagar and Kamalendu Pahari from Kanthi are the other candidates in the national list. .