GJM and BJP to decide candidates for north Bengal hills soon
A day after aligning with the BJP for the Lok Sabha polls, the GJM Tuesday dismissed speculation that the candidate for West Bengal's Darjeeling constituency has been finalised, and said a nominee for raising the Gorkhas' long-standing demands will be chosen soon.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung, who discussed election strategies with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders including senior leader L.K. Advani, said the candidate for Alipurduar will also be announced shortly.
"I would like to confirm that no names have come up for candidature. There are some rumours going around, but nothing has been finalised.
"We will get a candidate that would raise the long pending demands of the Gorkhas, the Adivasis and the deprived and destitute people of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts," Gurung said on Facebook.
In a snub to ex-football star Bhaichung Bhutia, who is contesting the polls on a Trinamool Congress ticket from Darjeeling, the GJM Monday entered into an alliance with the BJP, asserting it will support their candidates from Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar Lok Sabha seats.
GJM's support had enabled BJP's Jaswant Singh to bag the Darjeeling seat in 2009.
"We discussed about the imminent need to consolidate national security in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts as it's a geo-politically sensitive region. We also stressed the need for safety and security for the Gorkhas living in India," said Gurung about the meeting with BJP leaders.
BJP national executive member and West Bengal co-observer Siddharth Nath Singh said the candidates for the seats will be finalised and announced jointly by the two parties by March 13.
(Posted on 11-03-2014)