Raju Bista, a 33-year-old youth from Manipur’s Kangpoki district, is the new MP from Darjeeling.
It took many by surprise when the BJP fielded Raju Bista in Darjeeling. The leaders of the saffron party were smart enough to find a young Gorkha from Manipur in the politically hostile hills district of West Bengal.
Raju fielded the young candidate as political forces like the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha and the Gorkha National Liberation Front were not happy with the performance of veteran BJP leader Surinderjeet Singh Ahluwalia as their MP.
Unable to find a local Gorkha to represent BJP in the Lok Sabha elections in the Darjeeling hills, Raju Bista was more like a wild-card entry.
In fact, Raju was a BJP candidate suggested by the RSS. He is an old RSS worker and had joined Sangh pariwar in 1998.
Though his political opponents initially mocked him as an “outsider”, Raju Bista defeated Amar Singh Rai of the TMC by a huge margin.
Before joining active politics, Raju was the managing director of an MNC, the Surya Roshni Limited.
A keen believer in Narendra Modi’s ‘Adarsh Gram Yojna’, Bista is a social worker, and had taken up a series of development works for the uplift of several tribal villages in Chattisgarh.