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“Will Fight As Independent If…”: Bengal BJP Leader’s Warning For 2024 Polls

Bishnu Prasad Sharma, the BJP MLA for Kurseong, stated that if his party nominates a “outsider” as its candidate for the Darjeeling seat, he will be compelled to run as an Independent in the Lok Sabha elections.

Mr. Sharma, a strong proponent of Gorkhaland becoming its own state, emphasized the BJP’s track record of victory in the seat since 2009.

He did, however, take issue with the party’s repeated selection of candidates who had no connection to the Darjeeling hills.

“They just come, contest on the party ticket, win, and then they are nowhere to be found,” he stated on Wednesday.

“This time, we want a good candidate, who has to be a son of the soil,” he stated.

In addition to pleading with his party to select a candidate with local ties, Mr. Sharma threatened to run as an independent against the party’s official nominee if his demands were not met. I am obliged to honor the hopes of the people living in the hills.” According to West Bengal BJP spokesman Samik Bhattacharya, the party is keeping an eye on the circumstances and will decide when it is suitable.

The party is going to talk to Sharma. We are monitoring the circumstances. We all have to respect the party leadership’s decision regarding the nomination,” he stated.

Referred to as the “queen of the hills,” Darjeeling has been a focal point of political unrest due to the implementation of the Sixth Schedule, which grants autonomy to the tribal-inhabited region, and promises of a separate state for Gorkhaland.

The BJP and other traditional hill parties boycotted the semi-autonomous council elections in 2022, including the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Gorkha National Liberation Front.

Although the area has long called for its independence from West Bengal, the Gorkhaland statehood movement really took off in 1986, spearheaded by GNLF chief Subhash Ghisingh.

Many people were killed in the movement, which came to an end in 1988 with the establishment of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. A 104-day strike in the Darjeeling hills in 2017 caused more instability in the area.

In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, BJP’s Jaswant Singh won the Darjeeling seat; in the 2014 elections, SS Ahluwalia triumphed. The seat was won by Manipur-born Gorkha Raju Bista of the BJP in 2019.

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