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20 May 2017

Cracks in GNLF-TMC tie-up

Mirik municipality. File picture
Vivek Chhetri, TT,  Darjeeling, May 19: Forty-eight hours after Trinamul-GNLF alliance made its presence felt in the hills by managing to form a board in Mirik municipality, strains have started appearing in the relations.
The GNLF today said it might have to "reconsider" the alliance "with such an ungrateful, self-centered and egocentric partner".
The hill-based party is peeved that Trinamul has not openly acknowledged the GNLF's contribution to the recent electoral success.
Neeraj Zimba, the spokesman for the GNLF, in a statement, said: "Remember, had it not been for the GNLF's support and alliance with TMC in the four hill municipality elections, the Trinamul party would have miserably failed even to secure a single seat, leave alone forming the board in Mirik municipality."
"The Hill TMC leadership, must openly acknowledge and accept this very fact that it is not just TMC's sole victory but it is the joint and collective win of the GNLF-TMC alliance," said Zimba.
Trinamul, which had an alliance with the GNLF, won six seats in Mirik, three in Kurseong, two in Kalimpong and one in Darjeeling.
The visibly hurt GNLF even reminded Trinamul today how the alliance was forged despite the GNLF having some reservation over the tie-up. The GNLF has helped Trinamul in the last Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, too.
"The hill Trinamul leaders literally pleaded for an alliance with the GNLF pre-elections and when it failed to crack a deal, they immediately sought help from their political masters in Nabanna and brought high-profile ministers from Calcutta to lobby with GNLF leadership have now deliberately forgotten and over-ruled the vital role played by the GNLF party in ensuring victory," said Zimba.
Threatening to severe relation with Trinamul, Zimba, today said: "If this is the way, TMC deals with the alliance partner who stood with them against all odd, popular opinion and heavy criticism from all corners, then it is high time for the GNLF to reconsider it's stand on alliance with such an ungrateful, self-centered and ego centric partner."
Zimba's comment also comes a day after Aroop Biswas, Trinamul observer for the hills, raised questions about the involvement of GNLF cadres in the campaign. "We would not blame the party as a whole but at the grassroots. We did not find the GNLF workers during the entire election process," Aroop said in Siliguri yesterday.
N.B. Khawash, the working president of TMC (hills), denied the GNLF's allegation. "The alliance is a subject that was handled by the higher leadership. However, during campaign, we always sought votes for the TMC-GNLF alliance and even after the victory, we have thanked the people for the alliance's victory," said Khawash.
Minister Biswas today said he was sticking to whatever he had said yesterday on the role played by GNLF supporters during the polls. "It is a fact that Trinamul supporters did whatever they could for the GNLF candidates... It should be probed why they withdrew themselves mid-way. So, I repeat whatever I had said yesterday," said Biswas,

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