Kolkata: West Bengal unit of the BJP, during Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s two-day visit to the state on April 16-17, will seek his advice on contesting the forthcoming elections for Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in Darjeeling.
On April 16, Shah will be in north Bengal, wherein the hill leaders of the party will meet him and seek his suggestions on GTA polls.
A senior leader of the party on condition of anonymity told IANS that the party will seek the suggestion of Shah on whether the party would participate in the GTA elections and if yes whether the party would go alone or have any arrangement with other parties in the hills.
He also said that most of BJP leaders from the hills including the party MP and MLAs from the hills are against contesting for the elections unless there is a permanent political solution on the issue of separate Gorkhaland state.
Elections for the GTA are due for over five years and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, during her recent visit to Siliguri had said at that the GTA polls will be conducted soon.
The Chief Minister also had a meeting with almost all the hill- based parties namely Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Hamro Party, Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha and Jan Andolon Party, on this issue. However, leaders of BJP, Congress and Left Front were not present at the meeting. Another prominent party in the region – Gorkha National Liberation Front, which is an ally of BJP in the hills – was not invited in the meeting. Mamata, after the meeting, had said that all the hill parties want quick GTA polls.
The BJP Lok Sabha member from Darjeeling, Raju Singh Bista confirmed that in- principal they are not much in favour of participating in the GTA polls. “GTA is an illegal administrative system through which Mamata Banerjee is indirectly wresting her control over the hills. So, what is the point in participating in GTA polls,” Bista questioned.
A couple of days back Gorkha National Liberation Front announced its decision of not participating in the GTA polls. On the same day, the BJP legislator from Darjeeling assembly constituency, Neeraj Zimba, launched a scathing attack against the Chief Minister. “The Chief Minister is spreading lies that most hill parties are in favour of early GTA elections. The fact is that most hill parties are against it,” Zeemba said.