Bengal Assembly Polls 2021: Hill boards to back Binay Tamang faction, Trinamul
Representatives of 13 hill development boards have announced their support to candidates fielded by the Binay Tamang faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the three hill seats and Trinamul candidates in the foothills.
On Tuesday, office-bearers of all development boards formed by the Trinamul state government came here and made the decision.
“We will support the Binay Tamang camp because since 2017 they have carried out a lot of development work through the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in hill interiors and also restored peace. As far as seats in Terai and the Dooars go, we will support Trinamul candidates,” said Lyangsong Tamsang, a development board representative.
After being voted to power, Mamata had taken up the onus to address the grievances of various hill communities. Her government formed development boards for 13 such communities and allocated funds for the socio-economic development of community members. Among these include the Lepcha, Tamang, Mangar, Bhutia, Limbu, Khambu-Rai, Kami, Damai, Bhujel, Khas, Gurung, Newar and Thami communities.
According to representatives of hill boards, there are 2.5 lakh voters of these communities who live in Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
“If representatives of development boards can confirm that all members of their respective communities will support candidates fielded by the Tamang camp in the hills and Trinamul candidates in Terai and the Dooars, it will be a major boost for both parties,” said a veteran in hill politics.
Asked why the boards did not consider candidates of the Bimal Gurung camp of the Morcha, particularly when he has severed ties with the saffron camp to ally with Trinamul, they came up with a clarification. “He (Gurung) was with the BJP and we suspect he will continue to be with them… these days, he has lost his support base and many of his leaders have deserted him.
There’s no question of supporting him,” said Sanjay Moktan, a representative of a development board.