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TMC men want CM Mamata to finalize way to handle Darjeeling

West Bengal CM Miss Mamata Banerjee
SILIGURI: How to handle Darjeeling and its separate statehood issue in the days to come? Finalizing that and giving guideline to her pertymen accordingly will be the toughest task for West Bengal CM Miss Mamata Banerjee during her first post election visit to northern part of the state that begins on 2 ndJune.

"The CM will be here on her administrative agenda," This is how North Bengal Development Minister Mr. Gutam Dev described her routine schedule. But clear enough despite being clipped off many powers, the captain of TMC's north Bengal operation Mr. Dev is expecting her leader to bring him clear guideline after proper situation analysis on Darjeeling issue.

Finalizing a path had become too important for TMC after the blow on its political standing in Darjeeling during last Loksabha election. Gorkha Janamukti Morcha(GJM), the main political force and pro Gorkhaland entity in the hills, shifted its friendship from TMC to BJP causing TMC's Loksabha candidate star footballer Baichung Bhutiya to lose Darjeeling loksabha seat at a huge margin of 1.97 lakh to BJP's Vice President Mr. S S Ahluwalia.

As reward, GJM has been made official NDA partner. Widening its distance from TMC even more, GJM has shifted its MLAs from treasury bench in Government side of state assembly to opposition side.

Now, "We don't know whether to go aggressively against GJM or to try to make them friendly once again. Hopefully the leadership will be able to finalize a proper guideline on that," said a state level TMC leader- reluctant to be named.

Going easy with GJM now will put the very existence of TMC in hills into serious jeopardy. "It was not easy to get people out of GJM and get under our flag. They had to suffer a lot but remained with us with some expectation. Unless we can ensure their interest now by handling GJM with tough hands, they will again leave us," said TMC leaders at local areas. Moreover, the cool going will re-brew the separatist movement in the tea belt making things uncomfortable to the CM who claimed in loud voice at many occasions, "Darjeeling is smiling. We have restored peace there and put the separatist wave to an end."

On the other hand, going tough against GJM is not easy for the CM as that also can initiate yet another spell of aggressive field movement in hills destabilizing the whole scenario. Despite maintaining too cozy relationship earlier, TMC had to have its hands burnt with the fire of GJM's 'movement' fury many times by deviating in its movement from the path GJM wanted. In addition, that may further darken state center relationship.

"It is TMC that allowed this situation to develop. It had always capitalized Darjeeling on its short term political game rather than considering it in holistic from and social angle without keeping much of transparency," said political observers. (ET Bureau)

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