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Regionalism hurdle for coalitions

DARJEELING: Regionalism may force hill political coalitions to sail into rough seas in the forthcoming Assembly elections. Both the BJP and TMC-led coalitions might suffer, political analysts opined.

The TMC is backed by both Binoy and Bimal factions of the Gorkha Janmukti Morch. Though official announcements regarding seat-sharing or the election strategy are yet to be made, both the factions have unilaterally announced their decision to field candidates.

Rumors are doing the rounds that Gurung is rallying for his son Avinash as the candidate for the Darjeeling Assembly constituency.

Meanwhile the Binoy faction has also announced that they would be fielding candidates in all three Hill seats.

They have stated that TMC Supremo during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections had made an announcement that in the parliamentary elections TMC candidate backed by the GJM would be fielded, but for Assembly elections GJM candidates backed by the TMC would be given the chance.

"We have to keep afloat regionalism. We will be fielding candidates from all the three hill seats," stated Keshav Raj Pokhrel, Spokesperson (Binoy.)

However, both Bimal and Binoy will have to field independent candidates if they decide to take part in the fray.

"During the 2019 Parliamentary elections, there was a ruling by the High Court that both the factions can take part in the polls but as independent candidates," Pokhrel said."They can use the party flags and the GJM name for campaigning but will have to mention the faction clearly. No fresh order on this issue has been passed. Hence, we will have to field independent candidates," he added. Meanwhile the Hill units of the TMC have decided to urge the TMC Supremo to field TMC candidates in the Hill seats. "Since 2017, the TMC has consolidated its base in the Hills. We have a strong support base of around 2 lakh supporters. We are confident that we will do well in the Assembly elections. The supporters also look forward to having their own party candidates,"said LB Rai, president, TMC, Darjeeling (Hills.)

"Hence, we will urge our high command for TMC candidates in the three hill seats," stated Rai.Meanwhile Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist a constituent of the BJP led coalition has also echoed the regional politics sentiment.

"We will urge the BJP to allow regional parties to contest from the Hills and will seek support for the regional party candidates. In the Lok Sabha elections, we had supported BJP candidates. There should be seat sharing with Hill seats being shared among constituent parties. CPRM candidates should be fielded either in the Darjeeling or Kurseong seat," stated Govind Chettri, Spokesperson, CPRM.

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