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Trinamool leaves three seats in the Hills for allies to contest

DARJEELING: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) will not be fielding any candidates in the three hill Assembly seats, namely Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong.

With all the TMC allies deciding to field candidates, Mamata Banerjee rather settled for a post-poll alliance in the Hills.

TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee while declaring candidates for the forthcoming Assembly elections, stated: "Out of the 294 seats, I will be declaring candidates for 291 seats. The TMC will not be contesting the three Hill seats. However, we have friends (read allies) who will be contesting. Whosoever the public votes into power, will be working with us. They have also extended support to us in other seats."

Both the allies of the TMC in the Hills, the Bimal and Binoy factions of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will be fielding their candidates in all three Hill seats.

When questioned on this recent development, NB Khawas, Spokesperson, TMC (Hills) remarked: "We are yet to receive any direction from the party high command regarding what our poll strategy will be."

Mamata Banerjee will hold a mega road show in Siliguri on March 7.

She will arrive at Siliguri on March 6 and depart the next day after the road show. Political observers opined that she would meet the Hill leaders during this visit and discuss the poll strategy with them.

Meanwhile Roshan Giri, General Secretary of GJM (Bimal) in a press release announced the decision to field candidates in all the three seats.

"We have also decided to support TMC is all the other seats in the state and especially in 14 seats of Terai and Dooars," stated Giri.

Adding to this Prakash Gurung of the GJM (Bimal) faction has welcomed the TMC's decision not to field candidates in the Hills in favour of allies.

The Binoy faction of the GJM has also decided to field candidates in all three Hill seats. "The party has vested sole powers to Binoy Tamang to take apt decision regarding the forthcoming Assembly elections. Our poll plans will be announced by our party president Binoy Tamang in the next few days," stated spokesperson Keshav Raj Pokhrel.

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