GJM backs Ahluwalia before BJP's official announcement

The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has decided to support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for the Darjeeling S S Ahluwalia.

The BJP state unit had recommended S S Ahluwalia as its choice for the hill constituency. Later in the night on Thursday, the high command made an official announcement confirming the senior leader’s candidature. 

The GJM, which earlier switched allegiances from the Trinamool to the BJP, is reportedly hastened its campaign to support Ahluwalia as former soccer star and Trinamool’s candidate for Darjeeling Bhaichung Bhutia visited the hill station to kick-start his canvassing.

“Our president Bimal Gurung has announced that the GJM will back Ahluwalia as the BJP candidate from Darjeeling in the coming elections,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told reporters from Darjeeling on Thursday, following a meeting of the GJM’s central committee.

BJP West Bengal unit president Rahul Sinha told reporters that the party unit had recommended Ahluwalia’s name for the Darjeeling seat to the central leadership. 

The development comes days after the GJM extended its support to the BJP in two north Bengal constituencies of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar besides Darjeeling.

The GJM was expected to support Trinamool Congress in the 2014 elections, due to the thawing of relationship between the hill outfit and the state government.

However, much to the chagrin of Trinamool Congress supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the morcha switched sides to back the BJP apparently to underline its own identity.

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