Kolkata: Senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party and former External Affairs Minister, Jaswant Singh, filed his nomination papers for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency, in Darjeeling, West Bengal, on Thursday.
Mr. Singh, who said “it is a very big day for me,” was accompanied, among others, by his wife Sheetal Kumari and Bimal Gurung, president of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), that is backing his candidature.
A large number of GJM supporters cheered Mr. Singh as he made his way to the office of the District Magistrate to submit his nomination papers.
Elections for the Darjeeling seat will be held on April 30.Mr. Singh was given a rousing reception by GJM supporters two days ago on his arrival in Darjeeling from New Delhi. They flanked the highway waving at him as his motorcade travelled up the hills from Bagdogra airport.
He has held meetings with the GJM leadership and representatives of various other political groupings over the past few days to familiarise himself with issues that concern the region.
The GJM has been demanding a Gorkhaland state to be carved out of Darjeeling district and areas contiguous to it in the Dooars of north Bengal. It decided this month to support the BJP in the polls after it stated in its election manifesto that the party would consider the demand sympathetically.
The announcement of Mr. Singh’s candidature was made following several rounds of talks between the leaderships of the BJP and the GJM in New Delhi over the past few weeks.