Kolkata, March 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) At a time when the politics in the hills of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong in north Bengal is under focus because of the newly formed bonhomie between Ajay Edwards' Hamro Party, Bimal Gurung's Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and estranged Trinamool Congress leader Binoy Tamang, a surprise meeting between Bimal Gurung and BJP Lok Sabha member from Alipurduar constituency and the Union minister of state for minority affairs John Barla on late Friday evening has sparked fresh speculations.
Political observers feel that this meeting is a clear indication of Gurung's attempt to not just resurrect his old ties with BJP but also give the newly formed trio- alliance in the hills the backing of a national party. The meeting, according to observers, is also significant since it is at a time when the newly formed trio- alliance is making an all-out effort to resurrect the movement in the hills over the separate Gorkhaland state.
According to Gurung, he came to meet the Union minister to request him to initiate steps so that the Union government steps in for a permanent political solution in the hills. "We had earlier made the same request to the state government to find out a permanent political solution. I also requested the Central minister to initiate the process where the Union government can work for the development of Gorkha, Rajbanshi and the people of other tribal communities both in the hills as well as in the plains of Terai and Dooars regions in north Bengal," Gurung said.
Despite describing the meeting as a courtesy call prompted by his long-standing friendship with Bimal Gurung, John Barla said he looks for a long-standing understanding with the hill leader in the coming days. "Because of his support I became the candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He campaigned in my support which helped me to win the election. Our mutual friendship and cooperation will continue in the coming days as well," Barla said.
According to political commentator and specialist in north Bengal and northeastern Indian politics Nirmalaya Banerjee said that keeping in view of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections such a development was not really unexpected. "On the one hand, Gurung wants his party as well as his allies to get the backing and support from a national party like BJP. On the other hand, BJP leadership is also aware that without the support of the hill parties they will not be able to retain crucial seats in north Bengal especially the Darjeeling and Alipurduar constituencies. To my feeling, this is the beginning of renewed bonhomie between BJP and hill parties," he explained.
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