Former Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) leader and former chairman of the Board of Administrators (BoA) for the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), Binoy Tamang, today said that the Hill people had changed their mindset. Mr Tamang today returned to Darjeeling from Kolkata, where he joined the All India Trinamool Congress on Friday.
Speaking to reporters here on the issue of the long-standing demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland and its movement, Mr Tamang said: “Hill people have changed their mindset, as the BJP has fooled them, showcasing the Gorkhaland issue as a lollipop in the last three terms. Had the BJP wanted to give them Gorkhaland out of its political will, it could have done it like Jammu and Kashmir where Article 370 has been abrogated. As a result, people have decided to bring in proper development in the Hills by joining hands with the AITC.”
He further claimed that the president of the GJMM, Bimal Gurung, was an ally of the AITC and that he is also supporting Mamata Banerjee’s party. He said that they would now be working together in the Hills, Terai and the Dooars. “We will be working together to strengthen the AITC in the Hills and even in the Gorkha-dominated Terai and the Dooars,” Mr Tamang said.
Along with Mr Tamang, his associate, former Kurseong MLA Rohit Sharma, also joined the AITC in Kolkata. As the duo returned today, several followers of Mr Tamang and party workers were present to greet them at the New Jalpaiguri railway station here.
Mr Tamang also said that after he quit the GJMM on 15 July, he stayed away from active politics, but that he had been maintaining a relationship with top AITC leaders in Kolkata. He said he joined the party finally after holding a meeting with AITC General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee. He also said that following the party’s guidelines, he would now work hard for any election, civic body or GTA or even the Lok Sabha polls in 2024.