Kurseong April 8: Despite the Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh ruling out any possibility of a separate state or even a union territory for the politically sensitive Darjeeling hills, observers in this part of the region strongly believe that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM)—the strongest political force in the hills—is hinting support towards the Congress keeping in mind the 2014 lok sabha polls.
The union minister yesterday in Darjeeling emphasized on running the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) for development in the hills for the next five to ten years. Simultaneously, the Minister ruled out even a union territory for the hills once mooted by the former Congress Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Given Gandhi’s wish for the formation for a union territory, this time it is unlikely that the Congress is willing anything of that sort. Ramesh yesterday had said that the centre—presently under the wrap of Congress—is very much poised to see all round development in the hills for which it is ready to support.
However, the present political status in the hills that the GJM-TMC friendship being broken and GJM-Cong friendship taking cue since the past couple of months, observers are very much sure that the Minister’s visit to the hills is a step towards securing a berth for the next polls. “The Congress is aware of the fact that GJM-TMC relationship is at the edge of a knife. The minister’s visit to the hills indicates a political alliance for the next round of lok sabha polls. But having said that in politics anything can happen till the last minute but at the moment it is a clear indication that an alliance could be worked out,” says an analyst.
The analyst views however could be right given Bimal Gurung’s speech yesterday during the programme at Gorkha Ranga Mancha. In the middle of the speech he told the Minister that his party helped the TMC to win seats in the last Assembly elections.
Ramesh however said that his visit to the hills was nothing related to politics but added that in politics anything can happen.