GJM to back party that supports Gorkhaland cause

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Darjeeling (West Bengal), Mar 6 (ANI): With the dates for the upcoming general elections already declared by the Election Commission, political parties are now focusing on their campaign strategies.

The Gorkhaland Janamukti Morcha (GJM) party in Darjeeling said that it would back the party that supports the cause for a separate Gorkhaland.

On being asked whether the GJM would support Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) or the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the GJM said it would not rule out any possibility.

"We are not ruling out any possibility about how things will turn out. But whatever, we will not compromise our demand for Gorkhaland," said Roshan Giri, General Secretary of GJM.

GJM has been demanding a separate Gorkhaland state to be carved out of Darjeeling District in West Bengal.

The Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat has been won by the party that secures the backing of the dominant outfit in the hills since 1990s. This time, the GJM's support is crucial for any party to secure the seat.

Shankar Malakar, the supremo of the National Congress, Darjeeling District Committee, West Bengal, said the current agitation will not impact elections.

"It's true that there is tension going on in Darjeeling. Because of the Gorkhaland demand, there is a movement going on in Darjeeling. But all these will not affect the elections," said Shankar.

On the other hand, the people of the plains are of the view that the issue is being moulded by various parties to gain political mileage. They say that Darjeeling is an integral part of West Bengal.

"The demand has been coming from some parties. Other new parties are rising for such new demands. But we don't want to be separated. We want to stay together," said Sanjoy Ghosh, a resident of Siliguri, West Bengal.

Gorkhas have been demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland that they want to be carved out of West Bengal to protect their culture and heritage.

The Government of West Bengal is opposed to such a bifurcation of the State and creation of Gorkhaland. Of late, there have been ethnic clashes between activists of GJM and certain local tribals. (ANI)

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