GJM, BJP in poll pact for West Bengal

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 10, 2014 18:35 hrs

Darjeeling, Mar 10 (IBNS) The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), a major political force in the hills of West Bengal, on Monday said that it will support all the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates for Lok Sabha elections, a move threatening the poll prospect for India's iconic footballer Bhaichung Bhutia from Darjeeling parliamentary seat.

GJM´s general secretary Roshan Giri told reporters that party´s president Bimal Gurung entered into a poll pact with BJP´s chief Rajnath Singh in New Delhi for electoral alliance between the GJM and BJP for West Bengal.

BJP sources in Darjeeling said either Rajiv Pratap Rudy or composer Bappi Lahiri, who recently joined the party, may contest from prestigious Darjeeling seat.

However, the BJP leadership will announce its official candidate by March 13, sources here said.

Currently BJP leader Jaswant Singh is the sitting MP, elected by the support of the GJM in 2009.

The GJM, which had recently made peace with Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee and restored working condition of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) with announcement of no more agitation in the hills, was furious after the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) announced its poll nominee Bhaichung Bhutia form Darjeeling seat.

Bimal Gurung before leaving here to meet the BJP leaders in New Delhi had said the AITC had been fooling them over the candidate and many other core issues for Darjeeling.

"Bhaichung Bhutia will be a ´Joker´ during this Lok Sabha 2014 elections," said Gurung.

Left Front also fielded Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] leader Saman Pathak for Darjeeling and state Congress leader Adhir Chadhury said they would field all the 42 candidates, including in Darjeeling, for Lok Sabha polls.