Gurung demands inclusion of additional mouzas in Hills

THE STATESMAN

Siliguri, 19 July
At a time when the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha’s youth wing requested the party president Mr Bimal Gurung to drop the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and renew the demand for Gorkhaland following development of Talanga, the GTA chief today demanded inclusion of additional mouzas in the Hill setup.
Addressing a public rally for rural poll campaigning at Kalchini in the Dooars today the GJMM chief Mr Bimal Gurung demanded inclusion of 396 mouzas in the GTA and assured GJMM supporters that his party would continue struggle for the extension of the GTA areas for the development of Dooars.
Mr Gurung also hinted that his party would keep trying to include additional lands for the GTA and demand for Gorkhaland, the goal of his party.
Significantly, the ABAVP splinter leader Mr John Barla, who was invited to attend the meeting, was absent today. The party general secretary Mr Roshan Giri, MLA from Kalimpong Mr Harka Bahadur Chhetri, were also absent in the meeting. The GJMM leaders and senior GTA functionaries, Mr Pradip Pradhan, Mr Ramesh Alley and other members of the party’s study forum were present at Kalchini along with Mr Gurung.
According to the district intelligence branch officials, Mr Gurung has raised the issue of areas inclusion for rural poll campaigning and to formulate its next further plans to demand Gorkhaland after the extending the area of the GTA. The GJMM candidates are contesting only four zilla parishad seats in the Dooars and trying hard to win all seats in the Gorkha-dominated areas. According to a senior GJMM leader, party president Mr Bimal Gurung has fielded four candidates at Jaigaon, Kalchini, Birpara and Madarihat in the Dooars.
Besides ZP seats, the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha candidates are contesting the rural polls in the gram panchayat (GP) and panchayat samiti (PS) level. A total of 183 candidates at GP and 41 candidates at PS are contesting in the Dooars from GJMM ticket. On the other hand, the GJMM’s ally ~ JMM (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha) ~ led by ABAVP splinter leader John Barla has fielded candidates in 10 ZP seats and 72 candidates for PS.
Though a senior GJMM leader, Mr T C Roka, who is organising party activists in the Dooars over the past three months, is confident enough that his party candidates would win all four ZP seats, Mr John Barla was not so confident about the win of his 10 candidates.
On the other hand, both the Congress and the Trinamul Congress leaders are not worried about GJMM candidates and its vote banks in the Dooars.
A senior Trinamul Congress leader, Mr Mridul Goswami, said: “The GJMM candidates will not be able to win. A large section of Nepali speaking people decided to extend support to the ruling party for the development of this region. The GJMM candidates at Kalchini may bag a decent number of votes.”

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