Hill Politics: Bimal Gurung Wants BJP to Come Clean on Gorkhaland Issue before 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

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Gurung has even set a deadline of August 15 (Independence Day) for the national ruling party to make a formal announcement on this issue.

KOLKATA — Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) founder and supremo Bimal Gurung on Saturday made it clear that the BJP will have to come to a decision on the proposed and separate Gorkhaland state before the big battle of 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Gurung has even set a deadline of August 15 (Independence Day) for the national ruling party to make a formal announcement on this issue.

“Our demand is clear. We want a permanent political solution for the hills. And that permanent solution is separate Gorkhaland state. BJP will have to clear its stand on the issue. BJP’s presence in the hills had been for a long time. But they are yet to come to a formal decision in the matter. Now we expect the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce some decisions in favour of the Gorkhas on the occasion of the Independence Day this year,” the GJM supremo said.

The ultimatum from Gurung is being viewed as a cause of concern for BJP about its fate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat in the 2024 big battle. BJP’s candidates have been selected from this constituency thrice since 2009 mainly because of the support from Gurung.

Already the results for the recently concluded panchayat polls have been a concern for the saffron camp. Despite having the backing of GJM, the saffron camp could not cut much among the voters in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts in the rural civic body pills, where Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) founded by Anit Thapa, once a close confidant of Bimal Gurung, had emerged as the front-runner.

Now, Gurung’s ultimatum on the permanent political solution is bound to prompt the saffron camp to have a separate session about reworking the strategy for the hills in North Bengal scattered over Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong. As far as the map of the proposed Gorkhaland is concerned, it is supposed to be carved out of the hill areas in these three places as well as some pockets of the plains in Terai and Dooars regions. — IANS

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Photo: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) founder and supremo Bimal Gurung.

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