The Darjeeling municipality fiasco threatens to realign hill politics with Binay Tamang threatening to quit Trinamul and Bimal Gurung trying to enter a new equation.
Hamro Party has to prove its majority in the Darjeeling municipality after five councillors joined the Anit Thapa-led Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) on Thursday. BGPM claims one more HP councillor, Dorjee Sherpa, is also with them but has not joined formally because of his father’s death.
Trinamul announced their two councillors would back the BGPM. The support of the six HP defectors and Trinamul’s duo would take the BGPM’s tally to 16, the majority mark in the 31-member civic house.
Tamang, Trinamul leader and GTA Sabha member, has threatened to quit the party if a Trinamul councillor supports the BGPM.
“Sanjay Gurung of ward 5 was never into politics. People of his ward proposed his name to me and I bore all his election costs. Recently, our ward people decided he should be neutral and support neither HP nor BGPM,” said Tamang. “If our ward councillor is asked to work against the wishes of the ward I will quit Trinamul.”
Tamang’s threat comes at a time HP’s Ajoy Edwards is accusing the Trinamul-led state government of not taking steps to respect the civic poll mandate. “Thapa is aligned with the state government. The state government should not encourage trampling of a mandate in a sensitive place like Darjeeling...,” he said.
Sources said Bimal Gurung has promised the support of his three to Edwards.
So far, with 18 councillors, HP did not need Gurung’s support. But now, new alignments can’t be ruled out, sources said.