Binay Tamang, who had recently quit the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and switched to the Trinamul Congress, managed to get most of the leaders close to him to join the ruling party in Siliguri on Friday.
Prominent faces to join Trinamul are Gayatri Mukhia, former general secretary of the Morcha Kalimpong district committee, Sagar Tamang, former vice-chairman, Darjeeling municipality, and former Darjeeling councillors Babita Ganguly, P. Lama, Surekha Tamang and Shanti Dewan and former councillor of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Shankamani Rai.
Most of the other leaders to join were office-bearers in the Morcha faction that Tamang headed since 2017.
“Altogether 32 leaders from the hills joined Trinamul. But this joining is symbolic as we have sizable supporters not only in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts but also in the Dooars and the Terai. We will organise similar induction programmes soon,” said Tamang during the event that was held at the party’s office in Siliguri.
The programme was held in the presence of senior Trinamul leaders from both the plains and the hills, like Gautam Deb, the former tourism minister of Bengal.
The induction event is considered significant as many had felt that his supporters would not follow Tamang to Trinamul.
“Trinamul will emerge as a strong political force across north Bengal as soon we will host similar induction events in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts. There are many people across the region willing to join Trinamul because we want to extend all our support to chief minister Mamata Banerjee so that she can become the Prime Minister by winning the Lok Sabha election in 2024,” Tamang said.
Tamang said he was confident that Trinamul would win all four hill civic bodies if elections were held. Trinamul currently controls Mirik municipality.
Deb, who is contesting the civic polls in Siliguri, said: “We welcome the new members into our organisation. Trinamul will become stronger in the hills and we will carry out development works under the guidance of chief minister Mamata Banerjee and our young leader Abhishek Banerjee.”