Header Ads

Gorkhas should quit politics if BJP loses: HB Chettri

KALIMPONG : Just a day ahead of the announcement of the Lok Sabha election results, GJM spokesperson Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri voiced his thoughts on BJP candidate SS Ahluwalia’s chances of winning. He said, “If the BJP candidate loses, the Gorkha people should think twice before venturing into politics again.” Although Chettri sounded confident of Ahluwalia winning by a good margin, he revealed the anxiety within him when he said, “If he (Ahluwalia) loses, the political condition in the Darjeeling hills will be in a shambles and bring to an end all efforts made by the GJM to restore political stability.” Asserting this was the right time to go ahead with the demand for statehood, Chettri said, “The BJP is almost certain to form the government at the Centre and the party’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, has himself promised to fulfill the dream of the Gorkhas. 

If the BJP loses from Darjeeling despite such a positive atmosphere prevailing, the Gorkha people should not participate in any form of politics.” Hinting at the ‘silent’ voter group, the GJM spokesperson said, “Some Gorkha voters could have been coaxed into voting for the wrong party, but I firmly believe most have not. However, if my worst fears are true, it is difficult to say whether the BJP will wrest the Darjeeling seat.” He also admitted the GJM saw a decline in its support base during the build-up to the election. “If the candidate supported by us loses, it will be a huge mistake and prove the Gorkha people are incapable of practicing long-term politics. But I still feel and believe the chances of such a thing happening to be very low,” said Chettri. When asked which path the statehood movement might take if the BJP were to lose from Darjeeling, the Kalimpong MLA said the GJM will continue with its efforts to achieve a separate state. “The demand for a separate state will not be suppressed if Ahluwalia loses, but become more powerful instead. 

We will continue our fight, but in a peaceful manner. Whoever wins this election, peace and decorum should be maintained,” stressed Chettri. On the future strategy of the GJM following the poll results, the party spokesperson said, “Our party president has made it clear there will be no agitation or strikes in the hills. If we win, we will head to Delhi right away and establish a party centre there to negotiate with the BJP leadership as per the decision made before the election.” Chettri further said the GJM will take up the issue of the state government’s intervention in the smooth functioning of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. “The GTA will continue to do the good work it is doing and it is the responsibility of the central government to provide full support. All stakeholders will have to work together in the larger interest of the common people,” he emphasised.

Chettri said he does not believe in exit poll surveys conducted by media houses, but with the Modi wave sweeping the entire nation, an NDA government at the Centre is not a far cry. “The BJP will not need the TMC’s support to form a government at the Centre. The Trinamool itself is in a tight spot this Lok Sabha election. It is hesitant in supporting the BJP because if the TMC does so, it will lose 25 per cent of the Muslim support base in the state, with which the party has benefitted a lot during regional elections. At the same time, if Mamata does not support the BJP, it will be difficult for the TMC to secure funds for the state assembly election slated in a couple of years,” remarked Chettri.

Powered by Blogger.