Bimal Gurung, the founder president of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), on Friday night said that the political outfit floated by him would back the party which will support GJM’s call for a permanent political settlement (PPA) in the hills of Darjeeling, in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
“A meeting on the Gorkhaland issue is supposed to take place in New Delhi in December. Our stand is clear. We will support that political party in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections which would back our demand for a political solution in the hills,” Gurung said.
However, he maintained silence on the question whether the political solution will include GJM’s old demand for separate Gorkhaland state. He also did not specify whether he was hinting towards a fresh understanding with BJP snapping his ties with Trinamool Congress.
Gurung was absconding from the hills after a major agitation started in 2017 over the separate Gorkhaland state. Finally, in October 2020, he emerged in the scene again when at a press conference at a hotel in Kolkata, he announced GJM’s withdrawal of support to BJP who the party backed even in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In that press conference, Gurung expressed his solidarity towards Trinamool Congress and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Thereafter for a long time, he went for a virtual political sabbatical, though officially GJM backed Trinamool Congress in the 2021 West Bengal assembly polls. Before the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) polls this year, Gurung started a fasting agitation in the hills demanding boycott of GTA polls unless a permanent political solution in the hills is achieved. However, that agitation did not evoke much impact.
Now with his latest statement about the political solution in the hills, he has further hinted about his next move. Political observers feel that although he had not made anything clear about his move, but his insistence on a permanent political solution is a clandestine hint of ending ties with Trinamool Congress.
Observers feel that for GJM, the concept of permanent political solution is incomplete without separate Gorkhaland state, which can never be acceptable to Trinamool Congress.