Bengal Assembly Polls 2021: Anit Thapa to hold rally at Mirik
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Anit Thapa has decided to hold a rally in Mirik on Sunday in what is being construed as an attempt to take the fight to Trinamul Darjeeling hill president L.B. Rai’s home turf.
The district committee of Trinamul in Kalimpong and Darjeeling (hills) have decided to support Thapa’s rival faction in the Morcha led by Bimal Gurung in the Bengal Assembly polls.
“We will organise a rally under the theme ‘Change for Mirik’ on April 11. I will be present and request all residents to come forward to bring about a change for a better Mirik,” said Thapa.
Rai is the chairperson of the Trinamul-controlled Mirik municipality.
Trinamul has allocated the three hill seats of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong to hill “friends”. Both the factions of the Morcha, headed by Binay Tamang-Anit Thapa duo and Bimal Gurung, are allies of Trinamul but are contesting against each other.
Thapa has been holding meetings across the hills but his decision to specifically announce a rally at Mirik and the manner in which the party’s social media team is spreading the message is a clear indication that he wants to take the fight to Rai’s stronghold.
Mirik falls under the Kurseong Assembly constituency. Thapa also hails from Kurseong and a loss in his home constituency would be a major loss of face for him.
Trinamul hill leaders’ decision to support Gurung has surprised Thapa who has been stating that irrespective of the grassroots decision, his faction’s relation with the Trinamul high command is still strong.
“Thapa, however, seems aware that despite his good relation with the Trianmul high command, it will matter little if his faction’s candidate does not win the election. The fight in Kurseong has just intensified,” said an observer.
Many believe that is why Thapa has coined a new slogan for the Mirik rally. Till date, Thapa’s party had been fighting the elections on the slogan “hamro ghar,afnai bhar” (build you house on your own strength) to focus on the need to strengthen regional parties.
The Trinamul leadership has cited Binay Tamang’s refusal to campaign with Trinamul in the hills, the need to sustain Mamata Banerjee’s party and Gurung’s “honesty and sincerity” to campaign for Trinamul candidates in the plains, along with directives from the I-PAC team, as the reasons for supporting the Gurung faction of the Morcha.
However, some old timers in hill Trinamul have rebelled against the decision to support Gurung. On Tuesday, a section of leaders in the youth wing of Trinamul in Kurseong also announced support for Thapa and not Gurung.
Senior state leaders of Trinamul haven’t, however, issued any statement on this issue.