TMC, CPM & Congress candidates file nominations on second last day
Darjeeling: Darjeeling was abuzz with political activity on Monday, with Trinamool, CPI(M) and Congress, along with a number of independent candidates filing nominations on the second last day. Meanwhile, the BJP candidate was shown black flags at Kurseong, en route to Darjeeling, by a group of people.
In another development, Dr Harka Bahadur Chettri, president, Jan Andolan Party, has decided to take part in the poll fray as an independent candidate.
Amar Singh Rai, the TMC candidate backed by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, walked to the District Collectorate from the Darjeeling railway station, in a procession. Supporters and leaders of both TMC and GJM took part in the rally.
Later, while talking to media persons, Trinamool Darjeeling district president Goutam Deb said: "On March 12 the candidate had been declared. Since then we have had a number of meetings with the candidate. Our candidate is visiting all the Assembly segments. We are in a comfortable position. Our candidate is a local whereas the BJP candidate is an outsider. No one knows him. In the past 10 years, the BJP candidates from Darjeeling had a national presence. The present candidate is a non-entity. We don't feel anyone will vote for him."
Adding to this, GJM president Binay Tamang said that campaigning will be intensified from Tuesday in both the Hills and the plains. There will be four major rallies in the Hills.
"GNLF had demanded that the candidate should be a son of the soil. Even Bimal Gurung had said that. Now they have a candidate from Manipur. The BJP has not given ticket to a single Nepali in the North East, which shows their level of sincerity towards our community," stated Tamang.
Incidentally, BJP had announced the name of Raju Bista late at night on Sunday. He is being backed by the GNLF and GJM (Bimal faction). Bista, accompanied by GNLF president Mann Ghising, arrived at the Bagdogra Airport on Monday. He was welcomed by GNLF and BJP supporters.
On his journey to Darjeeling, a group of people waved black flags at him in Kurseong, shouting slogans of "BJP go back." Bista will be filing his nomination in Darjeeling on Tuesday.
Darjeeling constituency will go to the polls in the second phase. April 18 is the polling date for the constituency, with March 26 being the last day of filing nominations.