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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Jaswant plays down distance with former ally GJM

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Darjeeling, April 08, 2011
First Published: 17:02 IST(8/4/2011) | Last Updated: 17:05 IST(8/4/2011)

The BJP MP from Darjeeling, Jaswant Singh, on Wednesday tried to play down the growing rift between his party and former ally GJM.

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Singh has termed the GJM’s decision to extend unconditional support to the Congress-Trinamool alliance in the Terai and the Dooars as a logical move, arguing that the BJP does not have a strong presence in West Bengal.

Singh even said that, if required, he was willing to campaign for GJM candidates. But the GJM has not reciprocated to Singh’s gesture.

No GJM leader has met Singh since his arrival in Darjeeling on April 5. Backed by the GJM, Singh had managed a thumping victory in the last parliamentary election, riding high on Gorkhaland sentiments.

Taking a dig at the state BJP, which has time and again described his pro-Gorkhaland views as his personal stand and not that of the party, Singh said: “The West Bengal BJP reacts to the Gorkhaland demand giving it a Bongo-Bhongo (division of Bengal) flavour which it feels would weigh down on national integration. I would say that Gorkhaland would benefit the nation and promote national integration. The demand should not be limited to state parochialism.”

The MP suggested that the voice for Gorkhaland should not be splintered. “All Gorkhas should speak in one voice for Gorkhaland.”

“The state is poised for a change as a single party ruling for more than three decades is in itself not a very good indicator,” the BJP MP said.

Singh said the solution to the Gorkhaland crisis lies in the resumption of dialogue between the Centre, state and the GJM. “Even Union finance minister Pranab-babu has stated that the tripartite talks need to resume to resolve the impasse.”

Singh said the budget session of Parliament had witnessed important negotiations on the proposed interim authority but the matter had to be kept in abeyance because of the Assembly elections.


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