Politics News

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Leader Binay Tamang Joins TMC, Says Want to see Mamata Banerjee as PM

Nearly five months after resigning from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) faction he had formed and headed since 2017, former Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) chairperson Binay Tamang on Friday has joined Trinamool Congress after getting a green signal from party MP Abhishek Banerjee who is also holding the charge of party’s all-India general secretary.

Former Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) MLA Rohit Sharma also joined TMC. Many in the Hills feel that it was Binay’s well calculative move ahead of the GTA poll as he is eyeing for the post of GTA chairperson once again.

In October, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, during an administrative meeting held in Kurseong, announced that elections to GTA and the initiative to hold panchayat elections will be done once the voter list is revised.

It was learnt that the GTA elections are due since 2017 and the last one-tier panchayat election (gram panchayat) was held in 2000 in the Hills.

Sources said, the revision of the electoral roll was already started on November 1 and it will be completed by January 5.

Under such circumstances, the 45-members GTA election is likely to be held by January-end or February-first week and there are speculations that Binay Tamang may eye for the top post in the GTA with his joining in the TMC today.

Speaking exclusively to News18.com, Binay Tamang said, “I joined TMC because of Mamata Banerjee’s immense love towards the people of Hills. There is no need for a separate state. People in the Hills want peace and development and it is only possible under the dynamic leadership of Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee. We want to see Mamata Banerjee as the Prime Minister of India.”

When asked whether his joining in the TMC is a calculative move keeping in mind the post of GTA chairman, Tamang said, “I don’t know anything about the GTA elections. I didn’t join TMC to become the chairperson of the GTA. Now, the GTA is being run by the District Magistrate and he is doing good. It is unfortunate that BJP played dirty politics by showing the Gorkhaland lollipop. They tried to divide the people of Hills and plains.”

In the context of whether he will accept the post of GTA chairperson if asked by Mamata Banerjee, he said, “I don’t want to comment anything on this issue right now. Your question is too speculative.”

He said, “But I would like to highlight a few things about the GTA. There are many issues that need to be resolved like pay band regularisation of some of the GTA staff, more focus on the tourism sector, etc. As far as I know, 50 per cent of pending issues were resolved but 50 per cent is needed to be heard. I believe that these issues will be solved after the GTA election.”

On his present relation with GJM chief Bimal Gurung, he said, “I share a cordial relationship with Bimal Gurung and I met him twice also. We both want the development of Hills and I am hopeful that we will work together for the betterment of my people in the Hills.”

Reacting to Binay Tamang’s joining in the TMC, GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri said, “I wish him all the best but I would not like to make any comments on GTA as we don’t want GTA anymore. We are looking for a permanent political solution in the Hills.”

When asked to elaborate, he said, “It could be any other body other than the GTA with more powers and more areas in the Terai and Dooars. We heard that Mamata ji will be in Darjeeling soon and we will meet her to discuss many issues related to the Hills”.

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