Bimal makes sudden turnaround, dumps BJP and announces support to TMC

Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 13:15 [IST]

Last Update: Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 07:40 [IST]

Bimal makes sudden turnaround, dumps BJP and announces support to TMC

SE Bureau
In a surprising turnaround, GJM fugitive leader Bimal Gurung made a public appearance in Kolkata on Wednesday announcing adieu to BJP alliance and extending support to TMC in coming West Bengal Assembly elections.
Addressing a press meet at Kolkata, Bimal said the GJM has severed all ties with the BJP and would be supporting the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC in the 2021 Assembly elections.
Bimal was in hiding since the 2017 agitation following multiple criminal cases lodged against him by the West Bengal police. He was spotted first at Gorkha Bhawan, Salt Lake at Kolkata.
“We supported the BJP for three terms on the demand of Gorkhaland for which we will still move forward. We have taken up this issue with the BJP along with the Home minister and the Prime Minister several times for which they gave assurances but in the end nothing has been done in so many years. They did not even fulfil their promise of granting tribal status to the 11 hill communities,” said Bimal.
“Hence, we have decided to break our alliance with the BJP. In the 2021 Assembly elections, we will support the TMC in North Bengal while for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, we will support that party which will take our Gorkhaland demand forward,” said Bimal.
The GJM leader had shared hostility with the West Bengal Chief Minister for several years but on Wednesday, he was praising her leadership.
“In these three years (of him in hiding), I saw what is in Bengal and what is in the Centre. The Prime Minister and Home minister committed many things but did nothing. The Bengal Chief Minister, on the other hand, has fulfilled whatever she committed to. With the alliance with the TMC, we will give a strong reply to the BJP through the North Bengal seats during the elections,” said Bimal.
He requested Mamata to take forward the issue of the permanent political solution and the tribal status demand.
Bimal added he has not talked with the TMC or met any TMC leaders so far regarding his support offer.
However, observers maintained that the fugitive leader could not have hold a press meet in Kolkata without the support of the State government as he was wanted in several cases of the 2017 agitation.
Asked about the cases lodged against him, Bimal said: “I am not a criminal and the cases were filed politically and will be dealt politically. Even if they arrest me, I will happily go with them as I have not done any crime.” He said he was not hiding as a criminal but was in Delhi for a long time and staying in Jharkhand for the last three months.
Asked about the other camp of Morcha led by Binay Tamang and whether the two factions can work together, Bimal said: “All will see what will happen regarding that.”

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi