Iden­tity Pol­i­tics May Take a Back­seat in Hill Land

Af­ter the Gorkha mo­nop­oly, it seems BJP may open its ac­count in the Ben­gal Assem­bly with 3 seats from re­gion

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

so a ten­u­ous one, and is com­pared to the ties be­tween Congress and CPM. TMC has al­ways op­posed the idea of a sep­a­rate state­hood, but has iron­i­cally joined hands with the party that once had spear­headed the move­ment for a sep­a­rate state — Gorkha­land — decades ago. CPM too an­nounced its sup­port for GJM but did not field a can­di­date. TMC has fielded a two-term GNLF MLA Shanta Ch­hetri in Kurseong, and Sarada Subba, a new en­trant to pol­i­tics, in Dar­jeel­ing. The Ma­mata-led govern­ment has also formed six de­vel­op­ment boards for six eth­nic groups here, which has trig­gered out­rage and the move has been termed as ‘di­vi­sive’.

"Chief min­is­ter has over­ruled the in­terim ar­range­ment of GTA and con­tin­u­ously in­ter­feres with its work­ing. She also did not trans­fer the power to GTA as promised in the tri­par­tite agree­ment, and now she is play­ing di­vi­sive pol­i­tics. She is try­ing to bring po­lit­i­cal and eth­nic po­lar­i­sa­tion here -- this is treach­ery," Gu­rung said.

Cu­ri­ously, while GJM chief Gu­rung is still a crowd puller at ral­lies, the elec­tion meet­ings of TMC lead­ers have started draw­ing in the crowds. This is some­thing that peo­ple in the hills have never seen in the past three decades, and is per­haps a sign of the chang­ing times.

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