Trinamool Congress joins hands with Gorkha National Liberation Front to fight civic polls
The notification by the West Bengal election commission regarding polls to seven Urban Local Bodies (including four Hill Municipalities) in May has set into motion the election machineries of different political outfits in the Hills of
North Bengal. While Trinamool Congress and the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) announced a seat sharing coalition, Jan Andolan Party (JAP) has decided to go at it alone.
Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik and Kalimpong Municipalities will be going to polls on May 14. Addressing a joint press briefing on Monday at Kurseong, TMC Observer for the Hills and PWD minister Aroop Biswas stated: "The TMC and the GNLF have entered a seat sharing coalition. We will fight the Municipal elections together. It will be a vote for development."
The previous boards of all the four Hill Municipalities were formed by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM.) "The boards were corruption-riddled. They have done nothing for the public. Now, with elections round the corner they are going from door-to-door making false promises. People have understood that
except false assurances, the GJM cannot deliver anything," retorted Biswas.
Incidentally, during the last West Bengal Assembly election the TMC, GNLF and JAP had forged an alliance in the Hills. The alliance had managed to make a sizeable dent in GJM's support base with the GJM's winning margin nose diving to around 50 percent as compared to previous elections.
When questioned on whether the TMC would forge an alliance with JAP also, the TMC Hill observer stated that the TMC's doors are open for all parties opposing the GJM. Making an oblique comment, Biswas said: "However, if any party has a tacit understanding with the GJM we have nothing to say. With any true opposer of the GJM we are ready to forge an alliance. However, there are some people who are also accused in the Madan Tamang murder case."
JAP President Harka Bahadur Chettri who was earlier in the GJM fold is one of the accused in the All India Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang murder case.
GNLF President Mann Ghising who was present in the press conference stated: "Wherever GNLF is strong the party will field candidates backed by the TMC and in areas where the TMC is strong, the TMC will field candidates backed by the GNLF. However, modalities have not been worked out yet."