EOI, Darjeeling, 15 May 2016: The Vidhan Sabha election results are yet to be announced, but the Jan Andolan Party seems to have already started preparing for the municipality polls that are likely to take place by the end of this year. The JAP on Saturday held a closed door programme at the Nepali Sahitya Samellan hall in Darjeeling to hear out people’s grievances and suggestions.
After the meeting, JAP Bureau member Amar Lama said, “Even before the Vidhan Sabha elections, we held similar programmes to listen to the problems of the people and their suggestions on various issues. They were held only in the Kalimpong area but today, we held such a programme in Darjeeling and more will come up in the coming days. Kurseong will also be a venue later on.”
He said, “The main idea behind these programmes is to make people more participative and vocal regarding the problems they face in the municipality areas. It is not only the municipality that is responsible for making the area a better place, but people’s active participation is also very much needed. Since this was the first meeting in Darjeeling, there were only about 50 people from municipality areas, but one of the main problems they raised was the issue of high rise buildings. We will have further discussions on the matter and see what needs to be done.”
The JAP was formed on January 27 of this year by Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri who is contesting as a candidate from the Kalimpong Vidhan Sabha seat. Many believe that JAP will prove to be a strong opposition of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, with political pundits maintaining the party could have a better chance in the municipality elections as they are likely to get support mostly from the town areas.
However, when asked if the programmes were part of preparations for the municipality elections, Lama said, “We are not interested in gaining power but in raising the people’s voice and finding solutions to their problems. For the first time we fielded a candidate from Kalimpong and the difference can already been seen with very few false votes being cast there. Our party was not formed just to fight elections.” He added that the JAP had concentrated only in Kalimpong in the Vidhan Sabha polls as this was the party’s first foray at seeking popular support, and now they would being focusing on other regions of the hills.
JAP Bureau member and noted lawyer Anmole Prasad was also present at the programme.