HT, 12, July 2016, DARJEELING: Hills opposition parties are making a beeline to meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee with the request of holding municipal and panchayat election at the earliest. The political outfits are eager to encash on the anti incumbency factor that has managed to make a sizeable dent in the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) shield.
Harka Bahadur Chettri, president, Jan Andolan Party (JAP) had an informal meeting with the CM in Darjeeling on Tuesday with this request.
“I had an informal meeting with the CM. A JAP team will be meeting the CM on Wednesday,” said Chettri. Incidentally Chettri, the former MLA from Kalimpong had parted ways with the GJM and floated JAP with the main issue of forming a Kalimpong district. JAP had formed an alliance with the TMC in the recently concluded Assembly elections.
“I appealed to the CM to hold municipal and panchayat elections at the earliest. People want change. The CM seemed positive. There were ample indications that both elections could be held by the end of this year,” claimed Chettri talking to HT.
He also requested the CM to speed up the process of upgradation of the Kalimpong subdivision to a district. The CM has already given a go ahead and the process is on. Political observers are of the opinion that the formation of a Kalimpong district would result in both the TMC and JAP reaping rich dividends in future elections.
Chettri training guns at Bimal Gurung and the GJM alleged that he is playing with the sentiment of the people of Darjeeling. “He believes in divisive politics which ultimately is hampering development. People want development. The GJM run Gorkhaland Territorial Administration is riddled in corruption and nepotism,” claimed the JAP president.
Chettri further requested that there should be a survey of the classification of land in the Hills following which land documents should be given to residents of Tea gardens and cinchona plantations.
The former Kalimpong MLA stated that JAP would forge alliance with the TMC as per the need of the hour.