KOLKATA,3rd April: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s decision — as stated in its election manifesto — to sympathetically consider the issue of a separate State of Gorkhaland if it and its allies come to power is “amazing,” Biman Bose, secretary of the West Bengal State committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said here on Friday.
The BJP’s game plan was to divide the people of West Bengal. It was adopting “double standards,” as it had supported a resolution passed in the Assembly opposing any division of the State — one that was endorsed by all parties, he said.
“The BJP is following the imperialist design of divide and rule. It is an exponent of dividing the people of Darjeeling district as a whole,” said Mr. Bose, who is also chairman of the Left Front Committee.
The BJP is to contest from the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency with the support of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), which is demanding the creation of Gorkhaland, comprising Darjeeling district and areas in the Dooars of north Bengal. The BJP president declared in New Delhi that Jaswant Singh would be the party’s nominee for the seat.
Mr. Bose said that for the sake of getting votes, the BJP was trying “to create discord among people and divide them along linguistic, religious and ethnic lines.” Its decision would provide momentum to divisive forces that were trying to undermine the unity and harmony among the people of the hills and the plains in Darjeeling district.
Reiterating the Left Front’s resolve not to allow any further division of West Bengal, he criticised the GJM’s writ that parties opposed to those forces that supported the creation of smaller States would not be permitted to campaign in the Darjeeling hills. Only the Trinamool Congress, the Congress and the BJP were being allowed to do so.
Mr. Bose declined to comment on the candidature of Mr. Singh for the Darjeeling seat. “I do not know whether Mr. Singh will get a clean chit from the Election Commission to do so,” he said.