Is the Gorkhaland issue driving a rift between Bengal BJP’s chief and VP?
The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be divided on how to deal with the unrest in Darjeeling. The difference of opinion is driving a wedge between Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh and Vice-president Chandra Kumar Bose.
Bose, who is believed to be sympathetic to the cause of ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), has decided to speak to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the issue. And the support for Gorkhaland that this grand nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has shown has created quite a difference of opinion between the BJP leadership in Bengal.
“The Gorkha community should get their identity and respect. The Gorkhas have also participated in the freedom struggle movement and they should be respected,” Bose told Catch.
BJP, however, has made its stand clear and are not in favour of GJM's demand for Gorkhaland. “I am not aware whether Bose has been given any charge to resolve the Darjeeling impasse,” said Ghosh.
Sources in Bengal BJP said Ghosh has openly mentioned in an internal meeting that he does not support Bose's move. According to a senior BJP leader, Ghosh has also said that Bose is not following the party line and has urged all BJP leaders to not support him.
“I have not received any information from the BJP headquarters in New Delhi that Bose has been assigned to speak with the senior leaders to resolve the impasse in the hills,” Ghosh said.
Bose said he spoke to GJM leaders a few days ago and then decided to talk to Singh as the issue has been going on for more than a month and the situation has just been deteriorating.
“GJM leaders have spoken with me several times and have urged that a tripartite meeting be arranged to solve matters. I feel that the situation in the hills has deteriorated over the past few days and there
is an urgent need for the Centre to intervene and convene a meeting. As the vice-president of state BJP, I thought I should speak with Singh and try to resolve the impasse in the hills,” Bose said.
Roshan Giri, general secretary of GJM, corroborated Bose's point and said, “We have spoken with Bose and urged him to mediate with Singh and arrange for a tripartite meeting. He assured us that he will speak with Singh on this matter.”
The All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), on the other hand, alleged the BJP instigated the GJM to continue with the impasse, but they do not want to sit with the GJM and resolve the impasse.