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Support to BJP should not affect GTA-state govt relations: Gurung

PRADIP LOHAGUN 
KALIMPONG : GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung said he believes the rift created between the GJM and TMC during the general elections will have no adverse effect on the GTA-state government relationship. Speaking to journalists here, Gurung downplayed the possibility about the GJM’s decision to support the BJP disrupting ties with the TMC government, saying the latter should not take the matter “seriously”. “This election was meant to elect 543 MPs from across the country to form the central government. Had it been the GTA or state Assembly elections, it would have been necessary to speak with the state government,” he said. In his bid to restore the GJM-TMC bonhomie, Gurung said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should not be irked by the Morcha’s decision to back the BJP. 

He added if his party’s decision has really affected GTA-state government relation, it would be better for Banerjee to “quit politics”. A confident Gurung also said only 20-25 per cent of votes from the Darjeeling constituency has gone to other parties, while the remaining has dropped into the BJP’s bag. He further said the votes that have gone to rival parties are of those who are against statehood. The GJM chief also derided GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh for “utterly failing to comprehend the political situation in the hills”. While surprising the public with his decision to support the TMC, Ghisingh himself did not exercise his franchise. Even if the TMC, GNLF and DDUDF emerge as worthy opponents, the GJM will not give any weight to them, said Gurung dismissively.

He said the GJM had swept the three hill sub-divisions in the last assembly elections and his party is least bothered by the so-called comeback of the GNLF. The GJM chief also said the party will ensure panchayat elections are held in the Darjeeling hills after the election results are announced. Despite legal snags on whether the election is to be two-tiered or three-tiered, the GJM is in favour of holding panchayat elections as they have not been held for quite a while in the hills, he said. The party leadership is slated to discuss the issue during a meeting this Sunday. Responding to a query, Gurung said the GTA has become an object that the GJM can neither happily settle with nor deny outright. Admitting the setup is not functioning in its full capacity, he asserted only a separate state of Gorkhaland can solve the myriad issues plaguing the Gorkhas.

- EOI

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