Kurseong, 8 July
The trend of switching loyalty from one party to another is going unabated on in the Hills. It is particularly so across the tea belt.
For the past few months, the GNLF, on the run since the GJMM emerged as the preponderant force in the latter half of 2007, is now busy reviving its long dormant units, particularly in those places that were deemed to be its stronghold during the party’s heyday. The momentum of the revival has been boosted with hundreds of GJMM supporters, unhappy with the party having sacrificed the statehood demand for mere regional autonomy, keep swelling the ranks of Subash Ghising’s party. However, the reverse trend is also discernible, as people belonging to the GNLF are now found returning to their old folds in the GJMM.
However, according to the observers, such swapping of loyalties is not new in the Hills. “This trend is quite old and this applies not just to the GJMM and GNLF but to all the parties with varying degrees,” an observer said. It was reported yesterday that around six houses belonging to the All India Gorkha League joined the GNLF from the Monteviot Tea Estate and its adjoining areas. Three more houses from the same region belonging to the GJMM camp reportedly joined the GNLF.
However, the GJMM and the AIGL leaders pleaded ignorance of such loyalty swap continuing in the tea plantations. Meanwhile, five members of the GNLF have reportedly joined the GJMM today.