Prospects of BJP win make non-Gorkhas apprehensive

The tie-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) might make the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) feel closer to its goal of getting a separate Gorkhaland, but for a large section of people from several parts of North Bengal, the prospect of a BJP win in Darjeeling leads to anxiety.

People from Dooars and Terai in the plains, especially those who are non-Nepali speaking are anxious about possible unrest in the otherwise peaceful plains, if BJP’s S S Ahluwalia wins the seat. Recalling the volatile situation at places like Nagrakata, Banarhat, Birpara, Kalchini, Jaigaon and even at Madarihat in the Dooars, they feel the BJP’s promise to the Morcha of looking into the demand for a separate Gorkhaland means unrest and commercial loss.

Even at Siliguri, traders are worried that the demand for a separate state has always caused them trouble. Added to this is the pressure of the GJM’s demand for inclusion of additional areas in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and subsequently in Gorkhaland, if the separate state becomes a reality under the BJP rule.

They feel that instead of forming a separate state, if the BJP just works towards a better development package for North Bengal, as Ahluwalia has promised in many of his campaign rallies, a bigger section of the people would be happy. Debal Roy, a resident of Kalchini said, “We are not concerned about the results in our Alipurduar Lok Sabha seat, but we surely want to know how Trinamool fares in the Darjeeling seat.

If the GJM-backed BJP candidate wins the seat, controlling the highhandedness of the Morcha here on the issue of a separate state and inclusion of areas from the Dooars will be a tough job.” Voters are already speculating on the fate of the mainstream political party candidates like the Trinamool, the Left and the Congress, who they feel will not talk of a separate Gorkhaland even if they do not manage much development in the region.

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