GJM's Sarita Rai, a first-time contestant who, interestingly, once taught with Harka at St George's Higher Secondary School in Pedong. She is quite confident of her prospects.
"I have known Harka Bahadur Chettri as my colleague. We used to be in the same party but he was unable to take the responsibility and fight for the cause of the hill people. He is being backed by the TMC and the people of the hills will not support TMC because the party is against our demand for the state of Gorkhaland," she says.
"Every person in the hills faces a crisis of identity. We have been put in a state but are not part of it. We are called Nepalis and Sikkimese and Chinese, but we are Gorkhas and we have been part of India since time immemorial. People will vote for me because I understand what the people of this place want. They want to belong to a place that is theirs and I will fight for it till my last breath. The solution of our issues is the formation of Gorkhland."
|Sarita Rai GJM Kalimpong|
Sarita Rai isn't bothered by the decision of the Gorkha National Liberation Front to support the Trinamool in Kurseong and Darjeeling, and the JAP in Kalimpong. "GNLF is barely surviving. Their support or opposition doesn't matter to us. It will barely affect the outcome," she asserts.
Harka disagrees, saying GNLF's support could decide the contest. "Their support is welcome to us. The last time I contested against the GNLF, and they were able to get more than 8000 votes, which is not a small number here. So it could be a deciding factor."
The battle for ballot in Kalimpong is an interesting one to watch, indeed.
Via Catch News