The Benoy Tamang faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Saturday pulled out of the NDA alliance accusing the BJP of betraying the trust of Gorkhas. GJM organising chief LM Lama said that the party has no relation with the BJP-led NDA. The GJM was upset with the recent statement of Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh that his party only had an electoral alliance with GJM.
“The claim made by the BJP, leader of NDA, that GJM is a friend and a constituent of the NDA and the slogan of PM Modi that the dream of the Gorkhas is my dream have all been exposed by the statement of the Bengal BJP president Sh. Dilip Ghosh who stated that the BJP only had an electoral alliance with GJM and that there was no agreement for a common political resolution. This statement makes it amply clear that the BJP is neither sympathetic nor sincere towards the Gorkhas,” said Lama.
He also stated that it is known to all that the GJM gifted the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat to BJP twice- in 2009 and 2014 elections. In 2009, the GJM had supported the candidature of BJP leader Jaswant Singh when he contested the election from Darjeeling constituency. The party, however, was not satisfied with the BJP leader’s performance. Despite this, the Bimal Gurang-led GJM had lent their support to BJP candidate S S Ahluwalia in 2014.
Interestingly, hours after Lama’s statement, a letter allegedly signed by suspended GJM leader Bimal Gurung, surfaced saying the statement made by Tamang was ludicrous and that it should not be given any credence.
“The GJM has been a constituent of the NDA since 2009, and we will continue to remain an integral part of the NDA. … any statement made by Tamang claiming to be from GJM should not be given any credence. He is a West Bengal government employee and does not represent the people of Darjeeling, nor the GJM.”
Tamang, however, dismissed the letter terming it ‘fake’.
“I just heard about fake letter by a former president of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha which was without a date or reference number. The letter was flashed in a Facebook page called the Gorkhajanmukti Morchamedia and was digitally signed. The former president has been expelled from the party for anti national activities,” Tamang said.
In November last year, the GJM had suspended party chief Bimal Gurang, Secretary Roshan Giri among others for six months. Gurang had led the Gorkha agitation movement last year which saw a virtual shutdown in Darjeeling and other areas for more than 100 days.
“13 precious lives we’re lost during the 104-day long bandh. Hundreds were put in jail. Yet, neither the BJP MP of Darjeeling, nor the Government in Delhi spoke a word on the issue. The Home Minister of India assured a tripartite talk within 15 days of GJM withdrawing the bandh. It’s been more than six months now and the Home Minister has done nothing to redeem his promise.
While the previous leadership of GJM worked as an alliance partner of the NDA, the new leadership has no contact or alliance with the NDA. As such, GJM under the leadership of Mr. Binay Tamang has nothing to do with the NDA,” said Lama.
“Darjeeling has been the political gateway to Bengal for BJP and this has been possible only because of GJM. For so many years the people had hoped that our issues would be addressed and resolved. However, BJP has only betrayed the people time and again. It is because of BJP that the hills of Darjeeling are today enveloped in an environment of mistrust and political disturbance,” Lama added.