The Bimal Gurung faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha suffered another jolt on Sunday night with senior leader Swaraj Thapa quitting the party.
Mr. Thapa, who was also the GJM spokesperson, said he was quitting to protest “against the idea of foisting a rank outsider as candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat”. The candidate has no knowledge or interest about Darjeeling, he claimed.
The BJP had announced the name of Raju Singh Bista, a businessman, from the constituency.
GJM’s support is crucial to win in Darjeeling and for decades the BJP has been getting it.
But earlier this month, GJM said it “would support the BJP but not the sitting MP, S.S. Ahluwalia”. Eventually, the BJP replaced Mr. Ahluwalia, but Mr. Bista’s name has caused more unrest.
Mr. Thapa also accused the GJM leadership of failing to resist BJP’s pressure to “foist anybody and anyone” on them and the people of Darjeeling.