Mamata Banerjee’s candidate to contest from Darjeeling, WB, celebrated footballer Baichung Bhutia is being opposed by the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha activists. The yare calling him an “Out Sider.” Bhutia is from Sikkim. GJM leaders are telling him to go to his own state.
But the facts are deeper than they seem. Bhutia’s opposition is not because he is an outsider. In Fact, GJM has got another outsider Jaswant Singh elected last time supporting BJP. This time too GJM has entered into a poll pact with BJP, and the candidate this time is tipped to be Rajiv Pratap Rudy who is from Maharashtra. GJM’s support for BJP is because BJP has been supporting the demand for smaller states. BJP particularly has been openly supporting Gorkha Land demand since long. “BJP leaders Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj and also Rajiv Pratap Rudy have voiced our demand (for a separate state),” GJM chief Bimal Gurung said. Mamata Banerjee has given the region some level of autonomy by passing the Gorkha Land Territorial Administration Act in 2012, but she is opposed to any thing more than this.
Though the footballer has huge fan base in West Bengal, he is caught in the crossfire between GJM and Mamata.