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Raju Bista-Bimal Gurung meeting sparks political speculations in Darjeeling

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Kolkata, Jan 7 (IANS) A surprise meeting between BJP Lok Sabha member from Darjeeling Raju Bista and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung at the latter’s residence has sparked fresh political speculations in the hills.

Gurung, Hamro Party founder Ajay Edwards and Binoy Tamang, who had recently quit Trinamool Congress, have already given clear hints of an alliance against the joint front of the Anit Thapa-led Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) and Trinamool Congress.

In such a situation, the close-door meeting on Friday night have led to fresh speculations over Gurung to regain his old ties with saffron camp and thus give his newly formed alliance with Edwards and Tamang a backing of a national party like BJP.

On Saturday, Bista and Gurung described the meeting as a courtesy call and offered some subtle hints, making the speculation deeper for a renewed political equation in the hills.

While acknowledging the role played by Gurung behind his victory from Darjeeling in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Bista said that despite not having any official alliance with BJP currently, the GJM chief’s personal relationship with him is still intact.

“Since I was in the hills, I went to meet him keeping in mind those personal relations,” he said.

On the other hand, Gurung said that during the meeting he reminded the local Lok Sabha member of his commitments towards the Gorkha community. “I requested him to work for the sake of Gorkhaland.”

After remaining underground for a long time, Gurung returned to the hills soon after the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections severing his ties with BJP and at the same time expressing solidarity towards the Trinamool Congress and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

In the recent past, he had been inactive in his active political life.

But during the last couple of months, he had become active again, first through his understanding with Edwards and Tamang and subsequently through his latest meeting with Bista.

–IANS

src/ksk/

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