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BJP contacted GNLF: Ghisingh

Darjeeling, March 19: GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh today claimed that Darjeeling’s BJP Lok Sabha candidate S.S. Ahluwalia’s camp had contacted his party seeking support.

Ghisingh, who returned to his house on Dr Zahir Hussain Road here for the first time after May 16, 2011, said all political parties were getting in touch with him.

“All the parties are contacting me. Trinamul has contacted, the CPM has contacted, Mahendra P. Lama had contacted and someone from the Ahluwalia camp had also contacted one of my party leaders. Ahluwalia did not speak to me personally,” Ghisingh said today adding: “Ahluwalia is already booked.”

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is supporting the BJP candidate for the hill seat.

Ahluwalia, however, denied contacting Ghisingh’s party. “The whole world, even the sun and the moon, know that the GJM is supporting me. In such a circumstance, why should I or any one from my camp or even the party, contact someone inimical to the GJM.”

Today, Ghisingh got a rousing reception from his supporters in Darjeeling with party workers chanting “appa (father) zindabad! Subash Ghisingh zindabad,” when he reached his house around 3.45pm. While addressing the supporters from his balcony, Ghisingh said: “Now see what all will happen in the hills. I have come here to stay permanently. I am the same old Ghisingh, not a Ghisingh created by the media.”

Speaking to journalists later, Ghisingh said his party would decide on its stand on fielding candidates after a central committee meeting. “We will hold a central committee meeting followed by a public meeting where we will disclose our party’s stand. Let the nomination and the scrutiny get over. Unless that is over, we cannot be sure because the candidate we back might have his nomination rejected,” he said.

The hill leader’s tone hinted that he might go with Trinamul, an alliance that could give a tough fight to the BJP-Morcha alliance here. “The CPM is talking about some special Sixth Schedule. I don’t know what kind of Sixth Schedule they are talking about. The Congress has not contacted us and I don’t know if they are even there in Bengal,” he said.

While releasing their hill manifesto, the CPM had said they would give more teeth to the Sixth Schedule draft formulated by Ghisingh and make it stronger.

Today, Ghisingh sounded confident of his support base. “This kind of support was not there even in the 1980s (when he started the Gorkhaland agitation). More than 60 per cent people are with us. I had earlier said the hills would once again be green (GNLF colour). The hills are green now and I did not have to lambast anyone or do anything for this,” he said. “No one knows about Gorkhaland more than me.”

Terming the GTA a body “under hanging position”, Ghisingh said: “Everyone knows about the Morcha. I don’t have to comment on them.”

Ghisingh had left Darjeeling on July 26, 2008, after a Morcha activist had been killed by a bullet allegedly fired from a GNLF leader’s house. He had returned to Darjeeling on April 8, 2011 but left for Jalpaiguri on May 16, 2011, after alleged GNLF supporters killed another Morcha activist. Last year, Ghisingh shifted from Jalpaiguri to Matigara, Siliguri.