Advertisement

Updated January 11th, 2024 at 17:13 IST

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Darjeeling Hills BJP MLA Warns Against Outsider Nomination

Kurseong BJP MLA Bishnu Prasad Sharma, a vocal advocate for the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland, emphasised the historical success of the BJP in the

Reported by: Digital Desk
Kurseong BJP MLA Bishnu Prasad Sharma
Kurseong BJP MLA Bishnu Prasad Sharma | Image:X/@MLA_Kurseong
Advertisement

Kolkata: A BJP MLA from Darjeeling hills on Wednesday warned the party leadership that he would be forced to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls independently if the party nominates an outsider as its candidate from the hills.

Kurseong BJP MLA Bishnu Prasad Sharma, a vocal advocate for the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland, emphasised the historical success of the BJP in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat since 2009.

Advertisement

However, he criticised the party for consistently selecting candidates with no ties to the Darjeeling hills.

He said, "They just come, contest on the party ticket, win, and then they are nowhere to be found." Expressing his viewpoint on the matter, Sharma said, "This time, we want a good candidate, who has to be a son of the soil." He urged the party to nominate a candidate with local roots and warned, "In case the demand is not met, then I will contest as an independent candidate against my party's official candidate. I have to respect the aspirations of the masses of the hills." In response to Sharma's remarks, West Bengal BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said the party is monitoring the situation and will make a decision at an appropriate time.

Advertisement

"The party will speak to Sharma. We are keeping an eye on the situation. The issue of nomination will be decided by the party leadership, and all of us have to abide by it," he said.

Darjeeling, often referred to as the "queen of the hills," has been a hotspot for political unrest, with promises of a separate Gorkhaland state and the implementation of the Sixth Schedule, granting autonomy to the tribal-inhabited region.

Advertisement

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

While the demand for the region's separation from West Bengal dates back over a century, the Gorkhaland statehood movement gained momentum in 1986 under GNLF leader Subhash Ghisingh.

Advertisement

The movement resulted in numerous casualties and culminated in 1988 with the formation of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. The region experienced further unrest in 2017 during a 104-day-long strike in the Darjeeling hills. 

(With PTI inputs)

Advertisement

Published January 11th, 2024 at 17:13 IST

Your Voice. Now Direct.

Send us your views, we’ll publish them. This section is moderated.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Whatsapp logo