Tie-up with Binay was failure: Hill TMC
The Trinamul Congress’s Darjeeling subdivision committee has said the party didn’t benefit from its alliance with the Binay Tamang faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the recent elections and Mamata Banerjee might have been misguided by some leaders on the tie-up.
The disconnect between Trinamul and the Tamang camp has emerged at a time cracks have appeared in the alliance of the GNLF, BJP and the Bimal Gurung faction of the Morcha.
After a review meeting of Trinamul’s Darjeeling subdivision committee on Saturday, the party’s election observer for the hills, Rajen Mukhia, said: “Trinamul has an image. It is a party that undertakes development projects. But following the alliance (with the Tamang camp), we are feeling it has harmed us more. This is what TMC workers are feeling.”
As the Tamang camp wants Trinamul to fully back it in the hills, any contrary decision by Mamata could change the political narrative in the region, observers believe.
The Darjeeling leaders of Trinamul noted that the party had polled more than 91,000 votes in the hills in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when it had a tie-up with the GNLF.
“This time, the alliance was with the party which was in power in the hills. Yet, we managed to bag only 1.02 lakh votes in the hills. In 2016, our candidate Sarada Subba received 45,000 votes (in the Darjeeling Assembly seat) despite Bimal Gurung’s dominance. Our alliance just got 41,000 votes this time,” said Mukhia.
He accused top Trinamul leaders of “misguiding” Mamata on the alliance.
“I feel the alliance was a failure. Mamata Banerjee was misguided. We had a tie-up with the GNLF (earlier). If we had remained together and fought, we might have won this time. This is what the party workers feel,” said Mukhia.
Another issue highlighted by the Trinamul members at the meeting was the lack of coordination among the grassroots leaders of the ruling party and the Tamang camp.
“The leadership at the higher level was united. But Trinamul workers now think there was lack of coordination at the grassroots level,” said Mukhia.
The subdivision committee of Trinamul decided to send a delegation to Calcutta to meet Mamata and apprise her of the workers’ thought on the alliance. “We will present our report to her and will see what Didi has to say,” said Mukhia.
Told about Mukhia’s comments, Suraj Sharma, the spokesman for the Tamang camp, said since the alliance had been okayed by the higher leadership of Trinamul, he didn’t want to respond to someone else’s remarks.