Darjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha or GJM, which wants a separate Gorkhaland state, has opposed Bhaichung Bhutia's candidature for Lok Sabha polls from Darjeeling in northern West Bengal for being an 'outsider'.
The GJM, upset over Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee not consulting it before fielding the former footballer from Sikkim, has decided to back the BJP's candidate in the hill station.
The Morcha's motive is clear. It believes the BJP is sympathetic to smaller states and so, if it comes to power, Gorkhaland may actually happen.
"BJP leaders Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj and also Rajiv Pratap Rudy have voiced our demand (for a separate state)," GJM chief Bimal Gurung said.
When asked if the outsider tag of the BJP candidates doesn't concern them, Mr Gurung said, "He (Bhutia) has his own state."
But Bhaichung Bhutia is unfazed. He claims the sitting MP, Jaswant Singh, has done nothing for the hills in the last five years.
"I think with the tie, my chances have become even better. In fact, people are aware that in the last five years nothing has been done. We are ready to fight on our own," he said.
"We are hundred percent positive that Baichung will win," Trinamool Congress minister Gautam Deb said.