A Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) delegation led by party general secretary Roshan Giri will meet Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supremo Shibu Soren in Ranchi to discuss plans for an electoral alliance ahead of the panchayat elections in West Bengal.

“We are travelling to Ranchi on March 24 and will meet Mr. Soren and his son Hemant Soren. We have an alliance with the JMM and this meeting will be held to chalk out an electoral strategy for the rural polls,” Mr. Giri told The Hindu over telephone from Darjeeling.

The JMM is believed to have a significant presence in the tribal-dominated areas in the Dooars region of north Bengal.

The two parties have been on good terms for about a year, particularly after Shibu Soren called on GJM president Bimal Gurung in June last year and confirmed his support for the GJM’s demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. At the meeting, it was proposed that the two parties work towards the creation of a Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh.

The support of the JMM to the GJM has become critical, particularly in the wake of the latter falling out with the John Barla-faction of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikash Parishad (ABAVP) in recent times.

Mr. Barla and his associates had supported the GJM’s demand for inclusion of areas in the Terai and Dooars within the jurisdiction of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).

However, differences had cropped up between him and the GJM leadership since the elections in July 2012 to the GTA that were confined to the three hill sub-divisions without the plains being brought into the ambit of the regional autonomous body.