Binay Tamang, a prominent political face in the hills, announced he was severing ties with Trinamul on Wednesday, a few hours after the Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha toppled the board of Darjeeling municipality with support from two Trinamul councillors.
Tamang had joined Mamata Banerjee’s party last December.
“I am secluding myself from Trinamul and would request leaders of the party not to use my name in any event taken up by them. If the party takes any disciplinary action against me, I am ready to confront it,” Tamang said in a written statement.
“In Darjeeling, democracy is in peril. I hope the Trinamul government and the chief minister take appropriate measures to prevent undemocratic activities and corruption prevalent here,” said the hill leader.
Over the past few weeks, Tamang had been going against the party line, which led to speculations that he was trying to distance himself from Trinamul.
Earlier this month, he visited Delhi for a seminar convened by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung to push the demand for Gorkhaland state.
“Trinamul is against the demand. Yet, Tamang attended the event. On Tuesday, he joined (Morcha leader) Bimal Gurung and (Hamro Party leader) Ajoy Edwards in a protest at Capital Hall (against the BGPM’s bid to wrest Darjeeling civic board from HP) and spoke at length about the longstanding demand of Gorkhas,” pointed out an observer.
In 2017, Tamang and present BGPM chief Anit Thapa had walked out of Bimal Gurung’s camp and floated a new faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
Last year, Tamang left the faction and joined Trinamul.
Thapa floated the BGPM. He also managed to strike up a rapport with the state government and Trinamul.
“Thapa’s bonhomie with the state government and party didn’t go down well with Tamang.... Tamang said on Tuesday that Trinamul councillors at the civic body should maintain equal distance from both the BGPM and HP. When the two Trinamul councillors backed the BGPM in the floor test, Tamang cut ties with Trinamul,” said a veteran in hill politics.
In Tamang’s statement, he also said that people would understand his future political plans soon.
N.B. Khawas, a senior Trinamul hill leader, said the councillors backed the BGPM as they were in alliance with the party. On Tamang, he said state leaders will decide on the matter.
On a Tamang-Gurung-Edwards alliance, Thapa sounded unfazed and said they did not have followers.