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regular-article-logo Friday, 24 May 2024

Election drama heats up as Binay Tamang announces support to BJP while still holding post in Congress

Binay had joined Congress in November 2023 but had been sulking ever since Munish Tamang was announced as party nominee for Darjeeling seat

Vivek Chhetri Darjeeling Published 24.04.24, 10:30 AM
Binay Tamang

Binay Tamang File picture

Election drama heated up in Darjeeling on Tuesday with Binay Tamang, a prominent face in Darjeeling politics, announcing his decision to support the BJP while still holding a post in the Congress.

Around noon, Binay, the general secretary of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) and the party “in-charge of the hills”, issued a press statement: “I extend my sincere support to the candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party from Darjeeling constituency Shri Raju Bistaji.”

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Binay said he could not lead the “people of Darjeeling hills, Siliguri Terai and Dooars” on the wrong path. He expressed confidence that the BJP would soon come to power in the Centre and the state.

Binay had joined the Congress in November 2023 but had been sulking ever since Munish Tamang was announced as the party nominee for the Darjeeling seat.

He had categorically stated that he would not support Munish in the election campaign for which he was pulled up by the Congress leadership.

Soon after Binay’s announcement, the WBPCC decided to expel him from the party for six years for “anti-party activities".

“My expulsion from the Congress is a victory for the Gorkhas, people of Darjeeling hills, Siliguri Terai and the Dooars and a defeat for the Congress,” said Binay.

Binay’s detractors were quick to add that the hill leader jumped ship because the Calcutta High Court had ordered the CBI to start preliminary inquiries on teacher recruitments in Darjeeling. “You never know but this angle cannot be discarded,” said one.

Some recruitments had taken place when Binay was the chairman of the board of administrators (BoA) of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) from 2017 to 2019.

He was then the president of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Binay faction).

In 2019, Binay resigned from the GTA post to contest a bypoll of the Bengal Assembly from Darjeeling only to be defeated by the BJP.

Binay then resigned as the president of the Morcha (Binay faction). A few months later, he joined the Trinamool Congress. He resigned after a year.

Binay is an elected GTA Sabha member.

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