Darjeeling at Gorkhakland demand vortex showing unusual political picture

We want Gorkhaland
SILIGURI: At the vortex of a separate statehood movement for last four decades, Darjeeling in West Bengal hills is showing an entirely different political picture in parliament election this time. Reason behind is many splits in the statehood demand support base.

After BJP has finalized a 33 years old entrepreneur from Manipur Raju Bista as its candidate, Darjeeling has become a battlefield for four major political forces.

While INC has AICC member and son of soil Shankar Malakar as its candidate, CPIM’s candidate is another local and ex Rajyasabha MP Saman Pathak. Bengal’s ruling party TMC has veteran hill politics personality and hardcore separate statehood supporter Amar Singh Rai.

As the trend goes, out of total around 15 lakh voters, a chunk of around 6.5 lakh from three assembly constituencies in the hills is almost entirely Goarkhaland supporter. But the plains vote from rest four assembly constituencies is as usual a mix for mainly left, TMC and INC with comparatively less saffron bias. Eventually tilt of hill’s 6.5 lakh block vote always decides the winner. After INC enjoyed this support for more than once, BJP had it in 2009 and 2014.

But, “Both INC and BJP just played with Gorkhaland aspiration compelling us to think in other way,” said Binoy Tamang, supremo of the breakaway faction of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha. Tamang faction is the strongest political force in hills now.

TMC, that crafted the split within GJM to form this faction, has given ticket to Rai who is a Tamang loyalist and MLA from Darjeeling assembly constituency. On the other side, the other half of GJM, led by its leader Bimal Gurung, has remained with BJP.

The split in the block hill vote has given air to left as well as INC house. “We are hopeful with our strong support base in plains,” said CPIM’s Saman Pathak. INC’s Shankar Malakar is also banking upon his strength in plains. But BJP leaders are not that confident this time. However, “We should win here as the major portion of the hills force in our side,” said TMC leader and West Bengal Goutam Deb with bold voice.

But all, including TMC leaders, have agreed that the turf is not silk smooth for any one this time.

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//economictimes.indiatimes.com/
SILIGURI: At the vortex of a separate statehood movement for last four decades, Darjeeling in West Bengal hills is showing an entirely different political picture in parliament election this time. Reason behind is many splits in the statehood demand support base.

After BJP has finalized a 33 years old entrepreneur from Manipur Raju Bista as its candidate, Darjeeling has become a battlefield for four major political forces.

While INC has AICC member and son of soil Shankar Malak ..

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At the vortex of a separate statehood movement for last four decades, Darjeeling in West Bengal hills is showing an entirely different political picture in parliament election this time. Reason behind is many splits in the statehood demand support base.

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