The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has said it would end its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government and expressed interest in joining a third-party alliance ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, The Telegraph reported on Monday.
GJM President Binay Tamang wrote a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee informing her of the decision. On January 19, Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress had organised a United India rally in Kolkata, which was attended by Tamang and GJM General Secretary Anit Thapa.
“The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, an alliance party to the NDA for the last 10 years, would like to officially communicate to the chief convener of the third-party alliance that we are officially declaring that we are going to pull out from the NDA alliance [and] is [are] ready to join the third-party alliance in the Centre in the upcoming 2019 elections,” said the letter.
Earlier this month, Tamang had said that GJM would not support the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, ANI reported. “After the declaration of the election schedule, the party will clear its strategy,” he had said.
The party breaking ties with the BJP could affect the poll arithmetic in at least four Lok Sabha seats in north Bengal, including Darjeeling.
The GJM in 2017 had revived its demand for the establishment of a separate state of Gorkhaland outside West Bengal. In November that year, the party’s general committee had suspended the then President Bimal Gurung and appointed Tamang as the new chief.
Another BJP ally, the Asom Gana Parishad, had pulled out of the coalition in Assam in the first week of January in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.