Rai receives rousing welcome from TMC & GJM supporters
Darjeeling: "The BJP take note. Even if Narendra Modi or Amit Shah contest from the Darjeeling constituency their deposits will be forfeited. We will win with a margin of two lakh votes," said Binoy Tamang, president, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, exuding confidence on his return from Kolkata with the TMC-GJM candidate Amar Singh Rai.
A huge crowd comprising TMC and the GJM supporters had gathered at the Bagdogra to receive Amar Singh Rai. He was taken around the town by TMC leaders Goutam Deb and Ranjan Sarkar along with GJM top brass Tamang and Anit Thapa.
"We have an excellent candidate. Soon we will start campaigning with Amar Singh Rai," stated Goutam Deb, TMC president, Darjeeling.
Rai started for the Hills at 10:30 am and reached Darjeeling around 3:45 pm.
Enthusiastic supporters lined up all along the way to greet Rai. A road show was also organised in Kurseong.
"The alliance between GJM and TMC should be looked at from the point of political exigency. We have to be practical. There are three Assembly segments in the Hills with around six lakh voters and four segments with more than 9 lakh 50 thousand voters in the plains. This equation also needs to be understood. Taking all this into consideration we decided on this coalition," stated Rai.
Tamang stated the demand in the Hills was for a local candidate. This had been conveyed to TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and she agreed to field Amar Singh Rai, the sitting MLA of the Darjeeling Assembly constituency.
Rai will be going to Kolkata on March 16 to resign from the post of MLA. After filing of nominations the GJM and TMC will embark on joint campaigns in all the seven Assembly segments in the constituency.
Prior to that the GJM will have workers' meets and meetings with GJM and TMC workers. Rai will be filing nominations on March 26.
"Big political names will come for campaigning for the candidate," added Tamang.
Tamang stated that the GJM has already submitted an 8-point memorandum to the Third Front. The 8-point charter includes resolving the identity issue of the Gorkhas, including political security, ST status to 11 Gorkha sub communities, Constitutional recognition to the GTA, land documents, linguistic minority status to Gorkhas, GTA area to be included in Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, DI Fund land to be transferred to the Land and Land Reforms department, implementation of minimum wages in tea gardens along with land documents for tea garden and cinchona plantation workers.
In Darjeeling, there was a rally from the railway station to the GJM central committee party office.