Trinamul, GNLF and JAP tie-up in the hills against GJM

TMC’s hill jot to beat Morcha

Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, April 11: The tie-up with the Jan Andolan Party and the GNLF seems to have given Trinamul enough confidence to take on the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the hills.

The first joint meeting convened by Trinamul, GNLF and the JAP drew an impressive crowd at Sumeru Manch in Darjeeling’s Chowk Bazar today. A comparable opposition crowd had last gathered at Chowk Bazar when GNLF leader Subash Ghisingh had addressed a public meeting in 2011.

Aroop Biswas, who is in charge of Trinamul in the hills, probably impressed by the turnout, said: “We will win all three seats, Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong.”

In Kalimpong, Trinamul is supporting JAP president Harka Bahadur Chhetri. In the other two seats, Trinamul has put up its own candidates.

Trinamul, GNLF and JAP tie-up in the hills against GJM
Img via Darpan

Asked if Trinamul supported the statehood demand given that the JAP’s election manifesto listed Gorkhaland, Biswas merely said: “We have all come together to usher in development and end an autocratic rule in the hills.”

The Trinamul leader, who was the last speaker, stressed the importance of the alliance. “We will have people in each and every booth. We, along with our GNLF and JAP friends, will ensure that there is no loot of even a single vote (no false vote),” said Biswas.

He lashed out at the Morcha and the BJP for “talking big” during elections and trying to influence polls with money power.

The supporters of the hill jot brought out a rally from near the railway station that meandered through town to reach the meeting venue.

Bhaichung Bhutia, a former captain of the Indian football team and Trinamul candidate of Siliguri, also addressed the crowd.

“The only issue that the Morcha raises during an election is Gorkhaland. I, however, want to ask both the BJP and the Morcha why Narendra Modi did not talk on the issue in his speech at a public meeting in Siliguri recently,” said Bhutia.

Neeraj Zimba, GNLF leader, lambasted the Morcha for playing with the sentiments of the hill people. “The people were not tired with the (statehood) agitation but the leaders got tired. They had received 100 per cent support from the people and no agitation in the world has received such support,” said Zimba.

Rajen Mukhia, president, Trinamul (Hills), said one of the winning Trinamul candidates in the hills would be given a ministerial berth.

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