Will changing electoral equations hamper TMC's chances?

Gorkhaland Bimal Supporter
New Delhi: The politics in north Bengal has taken a new turn with the coming together of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF). GJM leader Roshan Giri, announcing the tie-up, has said that the two parties have joined hands to fight against the unconstitutional and oppressive Mamata Banerjee-led regime in West Bengal.
“Since the beginning of 2017, the West Bengal government has flouted the law of the land - filling of unsubstantiated terrorist cases, police harassment, coercion, physical and psychological threats, against political opponents in North Bengal, particularly in the hills have become the norm,” the GJM leader said in a statement.

The Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and other hilly districts of the state staged protests in the wake of West Bengal government’s decision to impose Bengali language in all the schools from Class I to IX in 2017. The people of Darjeeling hills have already been demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland for long.
With the crackdown on protesters following the 2017 agitation, it appears that a sense of anger has developed against the Mamata-led government in north Bengal. The Trinamool Congress (TMC), after the agitation, just managed to win one seat in municipal elections in Darjeeling while the GJM got 31seats.
In addition to this, the plight of tea plantation workers may also hamper TMC's chances in north Bengal in upcoming polls. The tea workers in the hills have been demanding higher wages and land rights. The TMC won three of the four Lok Sabha constituencies dominated by tea workers in 2014. The Mamata-led party emerged victorious in Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Coochbehar while the BJP won the Darjeeling seat with the support of GJM. But with the growing disillusionment against the TMC, the party may find it difficult to retain those three seats.
The contest in north Bengal has even got more interesting after the Congress and CPM decided to go alone in the state. Following the breakdown of the alliance, the TMC will now be pitted against the BJP. The saffron party has already set its eye on the north Bengal region with the Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman repeatedly visiting the tea gardens over the last year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited Jalpaiguri in February, showing that the BJP gives priority to the region. Amid the changing equations in north Bengal, it is to be seen if the TMC can replicate its performance of 2014 in the upcoming general elections.
The views expressed by the author are personal and do not in any way represent those of Times Network

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The politics in north Bengal has taken a new turn with the coming together of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF). GJM leader Roshan Giri, announcing the tie-up, has said that the two parties have joined hands to fight against the unconstitutional and oppressive Mamata Banerjee

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