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Ex-Morcha flock in Trinamul
- Inclusion of Dooars leaders to strengthen party, says Mukul

(Top) Bimal Gurung and Mukul Roy

Feb. 22: Trinamul Congress general secretary Mukul Roy said this evening that 20 Terai and Dooars leaders who had quit the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha late last year had expressed willingness to join the ruling party.

“They (the Morcha leaders) had expressed willingness to join our party and work for the development of the population dwelling in the Terai and Dooars,” Roy said.

“We have accepted them in the party and will utilise them according to their competence and capacities. Their entry in the party would bring us the support of a large section of people living in the foothills of north Bengal,” Roy said in Calcutta this evening.

According to Trinamul leaders in north Bengal, today’s development was significant as Trinamul would now have Gorkha leaders, required to win people’s support in the Dooars.

“There was a dearth of Gorkha and tribal faces in the party. We needed leaders and workers from these communities…. The joining of the (former) Morcha leaders would plug one of the gaps, not to mention of current relations we are having with John Barla and his associates who have a substantial control over the tribal populace in the Dooars and Terai,” a senior Trinamul leader from Jalpaiguri said.

Padam Lama, a former central committee member of Morcha based in Birpara of Jalpaiguri who joined Trinamul today, said: “Time and again, we were told by central committee leaders that they would carry out the demand raised by us to include the Terai and Dooars under Gorkhaland. However, all of them fell silent after joining the GTA and did not take any step to revive the demand for inclusion of these areas.”