Millennium Post

BGPM set to wrest Darj civic body from Hamro Party

5 Hamro Party Councillors crossed over to the Trinamool Congress-backed BGPM

DARJEELING: Backed by the Trinamool Congress, the Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) is all set to wrest the Darjeeling Municipality from the Hamro Party (HP) with five Councillors, owing allegiance to the HP, crossing over to the BJPM. HP president Ajoy Edwards has given a clarion call to all anti-BJPM forces to unite and has even threatened separation from Bengal.

In March, the HP with 18 seats came to power in the Darjeeling Municipality, having 32 wards.

The BJPM had then bagged 9 seats; TMC 2 and the Gorkha Janmukti Mocrha 3. Later, just before the GTA elections, Amar Lama of the BGPM had resigned from Councillorship in order to contest the GTA elections thus rendering the Ward number 24 seat vacant.

In a "joining programme" held in the Kurseong Town Hall on Thursday, HP Councillors Dipen Thakuri (ward number 2), Bishnu Mall (ward 7), Sitam Lama (ward 19), Ganesh Pradhan (ward 4), Saran Chettri (ward 13) crossed over to the BGPM. "We will comfortably reach the magic figure of 16 out of 31 as we already have 8 seats; 5 councillors joined us and one Dorjee Lama (ward 6) of the HP will join us in a day or two, formally. He could not today owing to a death in the family. The two TMC Councillors have pledged support to us. Many other Councillors from the HP will join us in near future," stated Amar Lama, General Secretary, BGPM.

"We have two TMC Councillors. They will support the BGPM from outside. Even during the GTA election the BGPM was an alliance of the TMC. We hope the new BGPM board with the support of the TMC and cooperation of the West Bengal Government improve the civic amenities of the Hill town" stated Shanta Chettri, TMC Rajya Sabha MP and president, TMC, Darjeeling (Hills).

The Councillors who crossed over claimed interference from outside in the functioning of the civic body. "Many of our important suggestions and proposals went unheard. We feel that now we can develop our wards" alleged Vishnu Malla, who crossed over.

"The Darjeeling Municipality will not be run by remote control anymore. It will be run with a vision and a definite plan. The HP Councillors joined us because they were unhappy with their party. They did not have freedom of speech or work. They contacted us wanting to join us and we welcomed them" added Anit Thapa, President, BGPM.

Ajoy Edwards, president, HP has alleged that the HP Councillors were bought over by BGPM.

"This is a dangerous trend. It seems the state government does not want peace and stability here. This is the first time that the Hills are witnessing horse trading. They do not believe in democracy. I request all anti-BJPM forces including Bimal Gurung and Maan Ghising of the GNLF to unite and together we will fight for separation from Bengal," he added.

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