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Youths want Binay Tamang to contest Darjeeling bypoll

Morcha wing seeks leader’s contest

By Vivek Chhetri in Darjeeling
  • Published 23.04.19, 2:04 AM
  • Updated 23.04.19, 2:04 AM
  • a min read
Binay Tamang, President of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha The Telegraph file picture

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s youth wing on Monday demanded that Binay Tamang be the party’s candidate in the Darjeeling Assembly seat where a by-poll would be held on May 19.

The demand by the Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha comes days after a central committee member of the party, Keshav Raj Pokhrel, talked about an assurance from Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee that the Morcha candidate would be made a minister if he won the bypoll.

Amrit Yonzone, the president of the Yuva Morcha, said: “The Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha wants our party president Binay Tamang to contest from the Darjeeling seat. We have already submitted a memorandum in this regard to the party’s central committee.”

Yonzone has said the Morcha president shares a cordial relation with the chief minister and if he represents Darjeeling in the Assembly, a lot can be done for the hills.

The youth front’s demand and Pokhrel’s statement on Saturday suggest the Morcha is strongly looking at fielding Tamang from the Darjeeling seat.

Observers believe if Tamang decides to contest the bypoll, it will be an acid test for his political career. “Tamang has not faced an election after assuming charge of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in September 2017. If he contests the elections, it would be a referendum on his leadership,” said an observer.

The central committee of the Morcha is yet to meet to finalise the candidate.

Ajoy Edwards, a steering committee member of the Gorkha National Liberation Front, on Monday said the party was looking at continuing the alliance with the BJP and the Bimal Gurung faction of the Morcha.

“We will repeat the same formula that we adopted in the Lok Sabha elections as more than the candidate, Gorkha unity is most important for us,” said Edwards.

The ABGL(Pratap), CPRM, SUMETI Morcha, Gorkhaland Rajya Nirman Morcha and some other apolitical organisations had supported the BJP’s Raju Bista in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat.

Edwards said the ABGL was confident of victory in the bypoll.

“The victory will send a message that the hill people are not happy with the policies of the state government,” said Edwards.