In next LS election will back party supporting Gorkhaland demand: Roshan Giri

The Bimal Gurung faction of the GJM will support the Trinamool Congress and would like to see Mamata Banerjee become the chief minister for the third time
Last Updated 29 November 2020, 19:14 IST

Senior leader of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's Bimal Gurung faction Roshan Giri on Sunday said they are not giving up their demand for Gorkhaland and will extend support to that party in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections which will back their demand for a separate state.

However, in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections, the Bimal Gurung faction of the GJM will support the Trinamool Congress and would like to see Mamata Banerjee become the chief minister for the third time, Giri told reporters after a rally in Kurseong.

The GJM led by fugitive Gorkha leader Bimal Gurung on October quit the NDA and aligned with TMC, saying the saffron party has "failed to find a permanent solution" for the Hills -- which had witnessed major unrest over demand for a separate state in 2017.

On Sunday, Giri, the general secretary of the outfit, said, "We will extend support to Mamata Banerjee in the coming assembly polls. She had fulfilled her promises about development in Darjeeling hills. But the BJP, despite securing our support in Lok Sabha polls since 2009, had failed to honour its promises."

"We don't trust BJP but we have faith in Trinamool Congress."

About the TMC not supporting the Gorkhaland demand in past, he said, "The Trinamool Congress government cannot do anything to fulfil our statehood demand, they don't have the requisite power."

TMC government will ensure the development of the hills. The BJP government at Centre had failed to honour their statehood promise to GJM in all these years, Giri alleged.

"In 2024 Lok Sabha polls, our support will be for the party backing the Gorkhaland demand," he said.

Ruling out any reconciliation with the Binoy Tamang faction, he claimed that Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Chairman Anit Thapa and GJM leader Binoy Tamang have no base in the hills and accused them of being involved in financial wrongdoings.

Tamang too had recently levelled similar charges against the Gurung faction and ruled out any understanding with them.

Giri returned to Darjeeling district on Saturday, more than three years after slipping out of the hill station, following the police launching a manhunt for him and other party leaders in connection with violent incidents during the 2017 Gorkhaland statehood agitation.

Gurung and Giri had resurfaced in Kolkata in October pledging support to Mamata Banerjee and announcing they severed links with the BJP.

(Published 29 November 2020, 19:14 IST)

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