Tamang files nomination as Independent candidate
Darjeeling: Former GTA chairman Binay Tamang filed his nomination as an Independent candidate backed by the GJM (Binay Tamang faction) and the Trinamool Congress, for the Darjeeling Assembly by-election.
Incidentally, the Calcutta High Court had ruled on Wednesday that both the Binay and Bimal factions of GJM can field candidates for the elections, but the candidates will have to contest as Independents. A GJM-TMC road show with Tamang culminated near the District Collectorate in Darjeeling, following which he filed his nomination.
Later while talking to media persons, Tamang said: "I am no more a Chowkidar (guard). Many have claimed that in greed of the chair. On Thursday, I resigned from the capacity of chairman, Board of Administrators, GTA, for the benefit of the Hill masses."
Tamang stated that in his 17 months in office, he realised that there were many problems that plagued the Hills. "Out of these problems we sorted many out but we also realised that many were not within our jurisdiction and required intervention of the state government. It is then we realised that coordination and sound relation with the state government is required for the Hills to progress. Owing to this, my party decided that I should contest. I will be the bridge between the Hills and the state government," he added.
He said issues like handing out land documents (patta) and filling up vacancies in the GTA and government offices would require the state government's intervention.
"87.2% people in the Hills do not have land documents. If elected, I will work to ensure that people living in tea gardens, cinchona plantations, DI fund land and forest villages all get pattas," assured Tamang.
It may be recalled that TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, while addressing a campaign rally at Suri on Thursday, had stated that the party will extend full support to Tamang.
Meanwhile, GNLF spokesperson Niraj Zimba has been fielded as the BJP candidate. He will be backed by GNLF and the Bimal faction of GJM.