In a major blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2021 West Bengal Assembly election, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, an electoral ally of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), on Wednesday pulled out of the alliance. Party president Bimal Gurung announced the move at a press meet in Kolkata.
Gurung said, “We are walking out of NDA as BJP-led dispensation did not fulfil its promises. In 2021 Bengal Assembly elections, we will support Mamata Banerjee-led TMC and fight against BJP.”
“We are in Kolkata and the party that we supported, we made them win the MP seat by helping BJP. Three terms we have helped them win. Our vision is to get Gorkhaland and whoever will support the Gorkhaland we will support the party,” he added.
“12 years have passed, what happened to the commitments? The tribal status was also not done by the central government. Three years, I had to stay away from home. In the central government, be it the Prime Minister or Home Minister they didn’t fulfill the promise. In the coming election in 2021, we want to go into alliance with TMC and give an answer to BJP. We will elect them to power.
Gurung, on the run since 2017 following an agitation for statehood in Darjeeling, was on Wednesday spotted outside Gorkha Bhavan in Salt Lake area near Kolkata, where he had arrived to address the press meet.
The police, which was also present at the venue, did not arrest Gurung, who has been charged with more than 150 cases, including those under UAPA, for his alleged involvement in the agitation three years ago.
Authorities at Gorkha Bhavan, however, refused to let him in, following which the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader, seen waiting in his car, left the place, said news agency PTI. This is for the first time Gurung came out in the open following the Darjeeling unrest in 2017. He had been hiding since then to evade arrest.