March 26: The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha have alleged that John Barla held discussions with Trinamul to forge an alliance in the panchayat elections without the knowledge of the two parties.
Although Barla is a member of the JMM, he doesn’t hold any post in the party.
“We have respect for John Barla but we take exception to the manner in which he is using the banner of the JMM to hold talks with Trinamul. He maintains a close relationship with us and the Morcha but does not hold any official post in the north Bengal committee of the JMM,” Raju Bara, the convener of the north Bengal core committee of the JMM, said yesterday.
“Over the past few months, we have noticed that Barla has been holding talks with Trinamul leaders on the alliance without consulting anyone who holds posts in the JMM,” he said.
Bara criticised Barla for sending his representatives to Trinamul minister Gautam Deb on Sunday for talks on the alliance without the JMM’s consent.
The Morcha also disapproved of Barla’s overtures to Trinamul.
“We want to make it clear that if Barla meets Trinamul leaders and state ministers to discuss development issues, we do not have any problem. However, we would object if he holds parleys with Trinamul leaders for stitching an alliance for panchayat polls without consulting us. Such acts by Barla have prompted our leaders to give a second thought to the alliance. Barla seems to have forgotten that the alliance between the Morcha and the JMM is still at a premature stage,” said Rohit Thapa, a central committee member of the Morcha in the Dooars.
Barla sounded confident despite the criticism.
“Whatever we are doing is being endorsed and approved by leaders and workers of the JMM. We have held talks with senior Morcha leaders on our prospective alliance with Trinamul in non-tea garden areas. Some people might have grievances which will be addressed soon,” Barla said.