‘Mamata’s political tutor Prashant Kishor could be behind Gurung’s move to break alliance with BJP in Bengal’.

 

New Delhi: The sudden break-up of the long-standing alliance of the Bimal Gurung faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bengal, is being looked at as some kind of a compromise which has been made between Gurung and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to arrest the rise of the BJP in North Bengal.

Sources within the BJP said that they were not even consulted by Gurung before taking such a decision and they believe that Mamata Banerjee’s political tutor Prashant Kishor could be behind this sudden move.

“Bimal Gurung has been a good friend of the BJP; many of us were taken by surprise when we suddenly saw Gurung appear for a press conference in Kolkata. He did not consult any of the leaders here in Bengal before taking this decision. It appears that Gurung has done a settlement with Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress to break off the alliance with the BJP and in return, the Bengal government will slowly wipe off all the cases against him. Remember, he was in hiding for the last three years since he is wanted in multiple cases by the Bengal police,” a senior BJP leader from Bengal told this correspondent.

Bimal Gurung was one of the most powerful leaders of the hill district of Darjeeling in Bengal until 2017, when a sudden feud with the Bengal government over statehood led to severe clashes in North Bengal, after which multiple cases of murder, arson, looting, rioting and even the Unlawful Prevention (Activities) Act was slapped at Gurung by the Mamata Banerjee government. He is still one of the top wanted people in the Bengal police’s list of most wanted people, after which he went into hiding for three years.

Sources within the I-PAC (Prashant Kishor’s Political Consulting firm) that this correspondent spoke to said that it could be a possibility that Prashant Kishor had helped the leader break off with the BJP, since Gurung had been in touch with at least two very senior leaders of the Trinamool Congress since the last two weeks.

A source with I-PAC told this correspondent: “Gurung vhad been in talks with the TMC. The decision to finally bring him for an alliance with the TMC must have been taken after a survey was done by our team which showed that to dampen the BJP in North Bengal, the Bimal Gurung faction of the GJM had to either be brought into the TMC fold or stopped somehow. It appears that the senior management had strongly considered this and later discussed it with the Chief Minister.”

Political experts have also said that the break-up of this alliance could come as a blow to the BJP which has been able to build a strong organisation in North Bengal with the support of the GJM. The hill districts of North Bengal have 16 Assembly seats and there is likely to be a tough battle in these seats now in the upcoming elections.

However, Bimal Gurung, while addressing a press conference in Kolkata earlier this week, said that he is breaking off the alliance with the BJP and NDA since the promise of Gorkhaland was not met by them despite being in power for almost six years. Gurung also said the BJP had mentioned the demand for Gorkhaland in the election manifesto, but nothing moved in that direction.

He then praised Mamata Banerjee and said that he would like to see her as the Chief Minister of Bengal for a third time and that he is going to fight the 2021 election in an alliance with the Trinamool Congress.