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BJP’s ‘opportunist stand’ on smaller states may cost GJM alliance

BJP’s ‘opportunist stand’ on smaller states may cost GJM alliance
Earlier, the BJP had opposed the Telangana but later favoured the UPA’s decision and now they are offering Gorkhaland ‘balm’ to GJM — precisely with a reason to win the Darjeeling seat, which they had done in 2009 by fielding Jaswant Singh.

However, the party’s strategy to field Jaswant Singh for a securing a seat turned bitter over his ignorant attitude towards a separate state of Gorkhaland at the national platform. There was also allegation that he hardly visited Darjeeling after becoming MP from the region.

This angered the GJM and the Gorkhaland Task Force, a conglomeration of pro-Gorkhaland outfits. Peeved with Jaswant, his name was registered as missing person in a police diary at the Kalimpong police station in August 2013.

In the run-up to the 2009 general elections, the BJP and Singh had made a strong pitch for creating Gorkhaland state but ground realties suggests that they (BJP) had just used the GJM for their political gains.

Now, in 2014 once again the BJP is taking the same ‘opportunist stand’ by fielding party’s vice-president SS Ahluwalia from Darjeeling constituency against footballer Baichung Bhutia, who is contesting on Trinamool Congress ticket.

Soon after getting the ticket, Ahluwalia made a similar ‘carrot and stick’ trick by announcing that his party was in favour of creating smaller states and the demand for a separate Gorkhaland was not unconstitutional.

BJP dangling a carrot in front of GJM might be seen as a party’s ‘opportunist stand’. Going with the ground realties, it will be difficult for the party to go ahead with the Gorkhaland in midst of strong opposition from the West Bengal state BJP unit, which is against Gorkhaland, and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s strong stand over a separate state.

Already the state BJP leader Tathagatha Ray said the party’s state unit is not in favour of a separate state. He said, ‘The West Bengal BJP unit is not in favour of a separate state of Gorkhaland. Yes, BJP as a party is in favour of smaller states for better development. But not in case of Darjeeling, as it has only three sub-divisions and there are other issues too.’
Sujit Nath

Sujit Nath

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