Siliguri (West Bengal) : The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Wednesday termed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Darjeeling MP Jaswant Singh’s expulsion from the party Wednesday as a “boon for the Gorkhaland movement” as the leader can now “work freely” for the realisation of a separate state.
“Jaswant Singh is now free of party fetters. This development is a boon and not a bane for the Gorkhaland movement. He can now use his immense contacts at the national level for furthering our cause,” GJM central committee member and publicity secretary Harka Bahadur Chhetri told IANS.
Jaswant Singh, who has held defence, finance and external affairs portfolios in the BJP-led governments was expelled for his controversial book praising Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah, “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence”.
The GJM, spearheading the demand for a Gorkhaland out of Darjeleing and some adjacent areas in West Bengal, ensured Jaswant Singh’s victory from Darjeeling in the general elections this April-May.
Chhetri said the BJP cannot backtrack on its stand of supporting the creation of Gorkhaland as the issue figured in the party’s election manifesto.
“We supported Jaswant Singh only because the BJP nominated him. If the BJP had named any other candidate we would have gone all out to ensure his victory also. So, our relations with the BJP will also not be affected,” Chhetri said.
At the same time the GJM was happy with the progress of talks in the third round of tripartite talks recently in Delhi.
“The result of this round of tri-partite is positive. We will continue our negotiations with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre.”