Binay Tamang joining Congress may force BJP to rethink strategy for Darjeeling

Kolkata, Nov 27 (IANS) As Binay Tamang, an influential leader in the hills of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong has officially joined the Congress, the BJP might have to rework its strategy in 2024 for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency which has seen the saffron camp winning for three consecutive terms since 2009.

Political observers say that chances are quite high that Binay Tamang might contest as the Left Front- supported Congress candidate in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, since both the Congress and the CPI(M) might opt to use his influence among a section of the hills voters.

In that case, say political observers, the BJP will have to make an extremely calculative move with regard to the choice of candidate for the hills. This is because, the three elected BJP Lok Sabha members from Darjeeling till now, namely Jaswant Sinha in 2009, SS Ahluwalia in 2014 and finally the current MP Raju Bista in 2019 are not from the hills. So in the eventuality of Tamang contesting the polls from Darjeeling in 2024, he will surely exploit the “son of the hills” sentiment among the hill voters, political observers say.

In that case, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), whose backing ensured the BJP’s victory for three consecutive terms, will also be in a fix in case the saffron party re-nominates Bista or again fields an outsider.

The task will be made even more difficult for the GJM given the recent complaints about successive elected MPs staying away from their constituencies for major part of their terms.

In that case, feel political observers, in order to ensure that the Darjeeling seat is retained, the BJP might have to consider fielding a local candidate and that, too, someone who will enjoy the confidence of the local hill political forces.



Back to top button