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
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.