Darjeeling: The focus of the TMC-GJM campaign in the Darjeeling Hills will be the absence of BJP MPs from the constituency. The first joint workers’ meet in Darjeeling on Tuesday saw leaders of both the parties dubbing the BJP MPs as “tourist” MPs.
“In 2009, BJP heavyweight Jaswant Singh won from the Darjeeling constituency. Again in 2014, BJP candidate S S Ahluwalia won from Darjeeling constituency. However after winning they hardly returned to their constituencies. Even when the Hills were steeped in political unrest in 2017, Ahluwalia preferred to stay away from the place. He did not even express a single word of sympathy. Why did this happen? Now he has dubbed us as foreigners,” retorted Binay Tamang, president, GJM.
Tamang stated that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ensured peace and development in the Hills. “She has also assured in public to address the identity crisis issue of the Gorkhas,” Tamang added. He said that Banerjee will be addressing a mammoth TMC-GJM rally at the Darjeeling Motor Stand on April 10.
Meanwhile Aroop Biswas, the TMC observer for Darjeeling, alleged that BJP leaders have been constantly hoodwinking the Hills. “Even Prime Minister Modi had said that the dreams of Gorkhas are his dreams, in the election campaign for Ahluwalia. Where did Modi disappear? Did he ever come to Darjeeling to find out how the Gorkhas are doing? Whether everything is fine with the Gorkhas?” questioned Biswas.
He said that on the contrary, Modi’s government has been sitting over a recommendation given by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on February 28, 2014, for the inclusion of 11 Gorkha communities in the Scheduled Tribe list.
Biswas stated that the TMC-GJM alliance will win from the Darjeeling constituency, owing to the development work they have been doing. “In the Hills, the GTA and municipalities have done great work. They have ensured peace and development,” said Biswas.
The TMC-GJM candidate from the constituency Amar Rai said: “We have done enough politics with emotions and sentiments. What have we gained? It is time we indulged in politics with our heads and not just our hearts. We have to revive the past glory of Darjeeling.”