The Bharatiya Janata Party got a shot in the arm on Monday with two former Asom Gana Parishad leaders joining it and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) announcing its support to the saffron party.
The former AGP president, Chandra Mohan Patowary, senior AGP leader and former minister Hitendra Nath Goswami and a large number of their supporters were welcomed into the party-fold by BJP president Rajnath Singh.
With the joining of these leaders, the BJP, which has so far declared five candidates, including three sitting MPs in Assam for the Lok Sabha election, is expecting to boost its electoral performance.
Mr. Patowary, a four-time legislator from Dharmapur and a former State minister, quit the AGP on Friday. He is being seen a front runner as the party’s nominee from the Barpeta constituency.
The AGP, which formed the government in Assam between 1985-90 and again from 1996 to 2001, has not won a single election since 2001.
In the case of the GJM, its president Bimal Gurung announced its support to the BJP.
Accompanied by two of the Morcha’s general secretaries, Raju Pradhan and Vinay Tamang, Mr. Gurung said the GJM had decided to support the BJP candidates in West Bengal for the Lok Sabha election, including the Darjeeling seat.
“After meeting the BJP president, the GJM has decided to extend full support to candidates fielded by the BJP all over India and Darjeeling. I would appeal to all Gorkhas to support the BJP all over India,” Mr. Gurung said in a statement.
The GJM had supported the BJP in the 2009 Lok Sabha election when senior leader Jaswant Singh contested from Darjeeling. Mr. Singh, MP from Darjeeling, has conveyed to the party leadership his wish to contest from his home State Rajasthan.
The GJM boasts of its influence in the Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar Lok Sabha constituencies.