Vivek Chhetri, TT,  Darjeeling, Aug. 24: Bhupendra Pradhan, a founder member of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the GTA chairperson, today joined Trinamul, blaming the hill party for failing to deliver on its promise of development.
Pradhan, who is better known as Pradip, joined the state’s ruling party in the public meeting at the Kurseong Motor Stand in the presence of Trinamul minister Aroop Biswas.
Pradhan said his decision to join the Trinamul was to ensure development in the hills, particularly Kurseong. He accused the Morcha of failing to carry out any development work in the past four years.
The GTA elections are expected to be held around July 2017. The Morcha today decided to expel Pradhan.
The hill leader arrived at the venue in the car of Biswas, who is Trinamul’s observer for north Bengal.
He said the Morcha leadership was not sincere about the Gorkhaland demand and added that if a sincere leader comes ahead for statehood, he would definitely support the demand.
“In the past four years, we have been able to do nothing for the hills. I have had a talk with Mamata Banerjee and she has promised to look into issues related to the development of Kurseong. I have also raised the issue of granting district status to Kurseong. I am confident that with the TMC, there will be development here,” Pradhan said.
He, however, said that if development was not ushered in even by Trinamul, he could think of leaving his new party too.
Pradhan accused the Morcha of corruption, saying some party leaders “did not have the means to even buy a good brand of cigarettes” but now “when they go to Bagdogra airport they enquire about the cost of a helicopter run by the Sikkim government. Where has this confidence come from?”
At the sidelines of the meeting, Pradhan said Bimal Gurung would not resign from the GTA as he had recently threatened. “He will not resign, note it down, as there is money in GTA,” Pradhan said.
Pradhan urged the people to ponder over why Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Anmole Prasad, Trilok Dewan and Amar Lama had left the hill’s biggest party.
Pradhan said in the next three months, the Morcha will have “only 20 per cent support” in the hills.