GANGTOK: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Sikkim on Tuesday reacted to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supremo Bimal Gurung‘s recent statements, calling them “desperate” days after Gurung said Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay was “holding the dhoti of BJP,” and had plans of “gobbling Sikkim.”

“There is an election fever in West Bengal and during such time, such allegations and counter allegations keep coming by different parties. Based on the statement made (by Bimal Gurung) on who gobbled whom, must be backed by evidence,” Sikkim BJP spokesperson Raju Giri said.

“BJP has the ideology of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaash. So when such a statement is made against a national party by an individual, it is wrong. It should not have happened,” he added.

On being indebted to Bimal Gurung for BJP’s previous success in North Bengal, Giri said, “He (Bimal Gurung) has been the face of the hills, someone with whom we are connected by our land. We respect him as we have been in his debt in the past and in a similar way he has been indebted to BJP in the past. He was connected with us for a very long time, but in the time of election such statement from him does seem desperate. Even before BJP could grow its flower in West Bengal, we were successful in doing so in North Bengal. For which BJP is forever indebted and in return BJP has aided him (Bimal Gurung) many times.”

While addressing a public rally on Sunday at Rangpo, bordering Sikkim on West Bengal side, Gurung slammed Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay for holding on to the ‘dhoti of BJP’ to save his seat. Gurung, who is in alliance with Trinamool Congress led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, accused the Sikkim CM of working for BJP.

On reaching a permanent political solution in Darjeeling with or without Bimal Gurung, Giri said it was an ongoing issue for over 100 years.

“In political field, rushing with decisions will not help. An issue that has been ongoing for over 100 years, this is not the time to be divided but coming together is how we can resolve the permanent political solution in the hills. We still welcome him to reach a permanent solution.”

On mass rallies in West Bengal amid the COVID-19 surge, the BJP said the pandemic situation worsened half-way into the election, “but we cannot cancel the election.”

“It is the carelessness of the public who run around without masks or the necessary distance between individuals. It is as much a responsibility of the people as it is of the government and its administration. We are active in ensuring safety, we hold Tika Utsav, which no other party is doing.”

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