Showing posts with label Harka Bahadur Chettri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harka Bahadur Chettri. Show all posts

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Win is a Mandate for Hill Unity

9:02 AM
Darjeeling, Kalmpong and Kurseong 19th May 2016 The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has won all the three seats from the three constituencies in the hills, defeating the allied forces of the Jan Andolan Party, the Trinamool Congress and the Gorkha National Liberation Front. However, the victory margin was a far cry from what the party had achieved in the 2011 Assembly election.

- Amar Singh Rai, the GJM candidate from Darjeeling, polled 95,386 votes to defeat his closest rival Saradha Subba of the TMC by a margin of 49,913 votes, with her polling 45,473.

- In Kurseong, GJM candidate and former MLA Rohit Sharma got 86,947 votes as against 53,221 polled by TMC candidate Shanta Chhetri, with the win margin standing at 33,726 votes.

- Kalimpong witnessed a close fight between GJM candidate Sarita Rai and JAP president Harka Bahadur Chhetri, with the former garnering 67,693 and the latter 56,262 votes. Rai managed to win by a margin of 11,431 votes.

Thursday evening saw euphoric scenes in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong as GJM supporters who had gathered near the counting centres started singing and dancing after the results were announced. In Darjeeling, GJM supporters burst firecrackers and distributed sweets. In Kalimpong, GJM president Bimal Gurung walked nearly 2km from the counting centre to Dambar Chowk distributing sweets, and in Kurseong, GJM supporters gathered at the railway station to celebrate and savour the moment of victory.

Bimal Gurung after  Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has won all the three seats from the three constituencies in the hills
Bimal Gurung after  Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has won all the three seats from the three constituencies in the hills
The GJM welcomed the victory but party leaders appeared a bit thoughtful with the margin of win as in the previous election, each party candidate had won resoundingly over their rivals, by at least 1 lakh votes. The GJM president though reacted realistically to the outcome saying there were several things to be addressed. “We were confident about our victory as the people are with us. A win is a win nonetheless irrespective of the margin. However, we will definitely identify our lapses and mend them,” said Gurung in Kalimpong.

The GJM chief also congratulated TMC chief Mamata Banerjee for retaining power and expressed hope that the two sides could work together for the welfare of the hill people. Meanwhile, Chhetri, the JAP candidate and party president, expressed optimism at the outcome. “In such a short span of time we have received good response from the people. We could have fared better had the election been conducted fairly. However, our party was not formed for elections and as such we will continue to work for the people,” Chhetri said, adding his party would contest all elections in the hills henceforth.

Amar Singh Rai said, “We respect the decision of the people but we have observed that votes in favour of the opposition have increased in comparison to previous polls.” Political observers said the lower victory margin for the GJM was the outcome of several factors and it has cast a shadow on the GJM even in victory. “Overall, the GJM’s vote bank was affected by the formation of the community development boards and the TMC-JAP- GNLF alliance. In Kalimpong, the JAP played the separate district card to their advantage and managed to snatch votes,” an observer said.


Gorkha Janamukti Morcha Wins all 3 Hill Constituencies in Assembly Election 2016

3:15 PM
19th May 2016 Gorkha Janamukti Morcha has won all three Hill Constituencies, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong in Assembly Election 2016.‎ Morcha candidates Amar Rai won from Darjeeling Dr Rohit Sharma won from Kurseong and Sarita Rai from Kalimpong.

Amar Rai, Darjeeling Municipal Chairman, secured  95386  votes and won by 49913 votes in Darjeeling where TMC Sarad Rai Subba got 45473 votes.

GJM‬ candidate Sarita Rai with 67693 votes Won by 11431 vote at ‪Kalimpong‬ Constituency where she had to face a tough fight from former MLA Dr Harka Bahadur Chettri Jan Andolan Party ( JAP) with around 56262 votes.

Similarly, In Kurseong  Dr. Rohit Sharma was able to retain his Legislative Assembly seat. Dr Sharma got over 86947 and comfortably won by 33726 votes. Shanta Chhetri for All India Trinamool Congress got around 53221 votes from the constituency.
 GJM candidates Amar Rai won from Darjeeling, Dr Rohit Sharma won from Kurseong and Sarita Rai from Kalimpong.
 GJM candidates Amar Rai won from Darjeeling, Dr Rohit Sharma won from Kurseong and Sarita Rai from Kalimpong.

With GJM winning in Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong, Congress is winning in Matigara, Phansidewa and Islampur and CPI(M) winning in Siliguri there is no trace of TMC in Darjeeling District.

The tie up of GJM & BJP secured the alliance a total of seven seats in West Bengal, the best so far for BJP in the state. While BJP won Kharagpur and Baisnabnagar, its alliance with GJM sealed the victory in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Kalchini and Madarihat.

Gurung (GJM) - Harka (JAP) both confident on wining in Kalimpong Assembly Election

9:25 AM
Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, May 17: Bimal Gurung will be in Kalimpong, the home turf of hill rival Harka Bahadur Chhetri, on May 19 when the votes will be counted and Bengal's fate be made known.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha did not explain Gurung's move to leave for Kalimpong today and stay put till the counting is done, but sources in the hills said the focus on Chhetri's backyard betrayed Gurung's unease regarding the Kalimpong seat from where his one-time party colleague is contesting.

Gurung and Chhetri had a public falling out after which the Kalimpong-based leader floated the Jan Andolan Party (JAP) that allied with Trinamul for the elections.

Sources in the Morcha, however, said Gurung who had earlier said that he "would dance at Motor Stand (in Kalimpong) on the counting day" suggesting that his party's victory was certain, was still confident about the party's performance.

Today, Gurung took a circuitous route to reach Kalimpong. "He left for Mirik and attended a prayer meet for B.K. Rai, a central committee leader of the Morcha and a former DGHC councillor from Mirik, who died recently. Gurung headed for Kalimpong late in the afternoon," said a source.
Harka Bahadur Chhetri
From the left Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Bimal Gurung 
After visiting Mirik, 35km from Darjeeling, Gurung returned to Jorebunglow and then he took the Peshok Road to go to Kalimpong, covering a total distance of around 110km.

The distance between Darjeeling and Kalimpong is around 45km.

Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri accompanied Gurung to Mirik and returned to Darjeeling from there.

"The fact that Gurung will be in Kalimpong, instead of Darjeeling, on the counting day indicates that the Morcha has been uneasy about the JAP," an observer said.

In the 2011 Assembly elections, Chhetri, who was then the Morcha candidate from Kalimpong, had won by a margin of over 1 lakh votes.

This time Chhetri, who quit the Morcha in September last year and floated the JAP, is contesting against Morcha's Sarita Rai in Kalimpong.

Going by the crowds that the JAP leader has attracted during the campaign, the contest could be a close call.

Sources said the Morcha leadership has accepted that the party's winning margin will come down drastically this time. "Our internal estimates suggest a winning margin of around 15,000 votes," said a hill party leader.

A Morcha source mentioned Gurung's promise to dance at the Kalimpong Motor Stand and said: "That is why he left for Kalimpong."

According to Morcha sources, Gurung has "strictly" told all elected GTA Sabha members not to leave their respective constituencies on the counting day.

"He has issued an express directive to all elected GTA Sabha members not to leave their constituencies," said a party leader who could not, however, explain the thought behind the directive.

The newly-formed JAP, which is facing the nine-year-old Morcha in its stronghold, also sounded confident of a victory.

"We are confident of winning Kalimpong," said Amar Lama, a bureau member of the JAP.

Chhetri's party is certain that their success in Kalimpong would have a cascading affect in expanding their strength in Kurseong and Darjeeling subdivisions - two areas where the JAP has not made any significant inroads so far.

Via Telegraph

Jan Andolan Party (JAP) holds interactive session in Darjeeling

9:56 AM
Darjeeling 15 May 2016 The Vidhan Sabha election results are yet to be announced, but the Jan Andolan Party seems to have already started preparing for the municipality polls that are likely to take place by the end of this year. The JAP on Saturday held a closed door programme at the Nepali Sahitya Samellan hall in Darjeeling to hear out people’s grievances and suggestions.

After the meeting, JAP Bureau member Amar Lama said, “Even before the Vidhan Sabha elections, we held similar programmes to listen to the problems of the people and their suggestions on various issues. They were held only in the Kalimpong area but today, we held such a programme in Darjeeling and more will come up in the coming days. Kurseong will also be a venue later on.”

He said, “The main idea behind these programmes is to make people more participative and vocal regarding the problems they face in the municipality areas. It is not only the municipality that is responsible for making the area a better place, but people’s active participation is also very much needed. Since this was the first meeting in Darjeeling, there were only about 50 people from municipality areas, but one of the main problems they raised was the issue of high rise buildings. We will have further discussions on the matter and see what needs to be done.”
Jan Andolan Party (JAP) holds interactive session in Darjeeling
Harka Bahadur Chettri at a rally in Kalimpong
The JAP was formed on January 27 of this year by Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri who is contesting as a candidate from the Kalimpong Vidhan Sabha seat. Many believe that JAP will prove to be a strong opposition of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, with political pundits maintaining the party could have a better chance in the municipality elections as they are likely to get support mostly from the town areas.

However, when asked if the programmes were part of preparations for the municipality elections, Lama said, “We are not interested in gaining power but in raising the people’s voice and finding solutions to their problems. For the first time we fielded a candidate from Kalimpong and the difference can already been seen with very few false votes being cast there. Our party was not formed just to fight elections.” He added that the JAP had concentrated only in Kalimpong in the Vidhan Sabha polls as this was the party’s first foray at seeking popular support, and now they would being focusing on other regions of the hills.

JAP Bureau member and noted lawyer Anmole Prasad was also present at the programme.


Jan Andolan Party cannot demand three-tier panchayat system in the hills - GJM

12:17 PM
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today asserted that the Jan Andolan Party does not have the general mandate to take up the demand for a three-tier panchayat system in the hills as the matter is already under discussion between the GJM and concerned authorities in Delhi.

The GJM was reacting to JAP president Harka Bahadur Chhetri’s call to all political parties in the hills, including the GJM, to take forward the demand. On April 21, the JAP called an all-party meeting in Kalimpong to discuss the demand for a three-tier panchayat system, but the meet failed to yield the desired results. Another meeting is scheduled on April 29.

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri today said he was aware of the all-party meeting called by the JAP but refused to participate. “We know the JAP has called an all-party meeting later this month and we are also invited. However, we will not attend the meeting because the JAP, which was formed recently, does not have the people’s mandate to initiate such programmes,” he claimed.
Jan Andolan Party cannot demand three-tier panchayat system in the hills - GJM
GJM general secretary Roshan Giri and Harka in the past
Another contention of the GJM is that the matter of implementing a three-tier panchayat system in the hills has already been taken up by the party with the state and central governments. “We have taken up the issue in all the bipartite and tripartite meetings held so far and it is also mentioned in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration agreement and act,” Giri said.

According to the GJM general secretary, the Centre is in favour of implementing a three-tier panchayat system in the hills, but the state government is trying to skirt discussions on the matter. “We have not had a panchayat election since 2005 and the rural populace of the hills is suffering due to this. Delhi is in favour of such a system though, and we believe a constitutional amendment is required to have the system implemented in the hills. Sadly though, the state government is not serious about the issue and has not sent representatives to the tripartite meetings and this has kept the matter on hold,” Giri alleged.

During the tenure of the now defunct Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, a two-tier panchayat system was put in place in the hills as a Mahakuma Parishad was established in Siliguri sub-division of Darjeeling district. However, Subash Ghisingh and his Gorkha National Liberation Front opposed the two-tier system and allowed only the gram panchayats to function. But here too, no election has been held.

Reacting to the GJM’s refusal to attend the all-party meeting, JAP general secretary Nayan Pradhan said, “We have invited all political parties including the GJM, but it is not our problem if someone doesn’t want to attend. Our objective is to try and solve the problems being faced by the rural population because of the absence of a panchayat system in the hills.”

The April 21 meeting was attended by the Trinamool Congress, the CPM, the Congress and the Gorkha Rashtriya Congress.

Source EOI

Voting day ends in Darjeeling, three poll-related arrests

9:17 AM
Darjeeling 17 Apr 2016 Amid allegations and counter allegations by candidates notwithstanding, the second phase of the West Bengal Assembly election in the three constituencies of Darjeeling district today ended by and large peacefully, with voter turnout recorded at 69 per cent by five in the evening.

Darjeeling SP Amit Javalgi said three poll-related arrests were made from across the hills during the course of the day. “In Darjeeling, two alleged GJM supporters were arrested for casting double votes and a case has been started against them. While in Kalimpong, a man was arrested for selling liquor,” he said.

The overall turnout in the six Assembly Constituencies of the district was recorded at 74 per cent when voting ended. The six constituencies comprise Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Kurseong in the hills, and Matigara-Naxalbari, Siliguri and Phansidewa in the plains.

In the hills, voters were seen queued up outside polling booths from early in the morning even as the weather remained cloudy and chilly throughout the day. Central forces personnel manned the booths to ensure voters got to exercise their franchise freely and without any kind of intimidation.

Even so, candidates of the five parties in the fray, namely of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Trinamool Congress, Jan Andolan Party, Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist and Gorkha Rastriya Congress, didn’t stop from accusing one another of rigging and intimidation although there were no reports of violence anywhere.

JAP candidate Harka Bahadur Chhetri, who cast his vote at Chandraloke Junior Basic School in Kalimpong, complained about GJM activists intimidating voters outside polling booths even as he maintained he was confident of winning. “They (GJM) have lost the people’s faith and are resorting to intimidation. I am confident the majority of votes will be cast for me,” he said.

Shanta Chhetri of the TMC and Govind Chhetri of the CPRM, who cast their votes at Kurseong College in Kurseong and Hindi Himachal School in Darjeeling, respectively voiced similar allegations. “GJM agents were asking voters to vote for their party’s candidates. I will complain to the election commission about this. However, this (election) is a court and voters are the judges, and I am sure they will make the correct decision by voting for me,” said Govind Chhetri.

Meanwhile, Amar Singh Rai, the GJM candidate from Darjeeling, said he was satisfied with the voting process and sounded confident of an outright win by the Morcha. “There were two incidents where TMC polling agents tried to enter booths they were not assigned to. I apprised the returning officer about this. Other than that, polling went off well and I am satisfied. I am getting reports from our party members in Kalimpong and Kurseong that our candidates are doing well,” he said.

GJM president Bimal Gurung, who cast his vote early in the morning at the Patleybas Community Hall booth, said, “Voting went off peacefully and in a disciplined manner and I am satisfied. I am 100 per cent certain that we will win not only in the hills, but also in the Terai and Dooars regions.”

According to a report by the district election commission, overall polling stood at 74 percentage points by 5pm, and of the 89 complaints received, 83 had been disposed of while the remaining six were in the process. “Several complaints were received from the participating parties and most were redressed,” informed Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava, who is also the District Election Officer.


Gurung, Harka both confident of winning on voting day

8:55 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri and Rajeev Ravidas

Darjeeling, April 17: Bimal Gurung cast his vote at Patlaybash Community Hall in booth number 23/95 here today but the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader's mind was two hillocks away in Kalimpong.

Dressed in a blue tracksuit, Gurung voted around 9.30am and during his interaction with the media and supporters, he said: "The results will be good. I am confident that we will do well not just in Kalimpong but in all the constituencies where we have fielded candidates ... Harka will be politically finished when the results will be announced."

The Morcha has fielded candidates in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong and in Islampur and Chopra in the plains. It is supporting BJP candidates in Kalchini, Madarihat, Nagrakata and Kumargram.
Gurung, Harka both confident of winning on voting day
MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri, who quit the Morcha in September and floated the Jana Andolan Party (JAP), is contesting against Morcha's Sarita Rai in Kalimpong.

In 2011, Chhetri had won the seat on a Morcha ticket.

"In the urban area of Kalimpong, about 30 per cent of voters might not be with us and in the rural area about 20 per cent. But otherwise, we are still strong. A few people might have gone against us but there is nothing much to worry," said Gurung.

Going by the crowds that Harka attracted during his campaigns, the Kalimpong contest seems to be a close call.

JAP bureau member Amar Lama said: "The feedback (we got) suggests we have an upper hand in Kalimpong. This could be the beginning of the end for the Morcha. We had polling agents in all booths ."

There are 261 polling stations in Kalimpong, 317 in Darjeeling and 290 in Kurseong.

A Morcha worker was heard telling his friends in the Darjeeling party office: "I think we are doing well in Kalimpong. There are reports that the button against our candidate's name is more soiled in many booths of Kalimpong."

In Kalimpong, Chhetri voted at Chandrloke Primary School around 7.15am today.

Talking to reporters, the JAP president said: "I will definitely win. People who have seen my work and those who have lost faith in the Morcha will vote for me. Despite the Morcha distributing money (to lure voters), I will win. Bimal Gurung will definitely taste defeat for the first time.

Gurung said the charges were false.

Kalimpong's Morcha candidate Rai, who voted at Pedong today, said: "I believe that my win is certain. Once that is achieved, we will work for the development of Kalimpong."

At 5pm, the voting per cent was 69 in Kalimpong, 66.1 in Darjeeling and 71 in Kurseong.

In Darjeeling, Trinamul's Sharda Rai Subba said: "We had polling agents in 90 per cent of the booths. Where we did n't, false votes were cast."

Via Telegraph

Demand for Gorkhaland: Ethnic politics still key cards in Darjeeling

5:28 PM
Writes: Amitava Banerjee

Political debate in the Queen of the Hills this election season continues to revolve around ethnic issues.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), a BJP ally piggybacking on the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state, has significant sway in north Bengal’s Darjeeling Hills, which include Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong constituencies.
The demand for Gorkhaland gained prominence in 1986 when Subash Ghising and the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) spearheaded a 28-month violent agitation that left 1,200 people dead. Bimal Gurung, a dissident GNLF leader, later floated the GJM and seized power in 2008.

Ever since, even national parties have been unable to sidestep this ethnic brand of politics.

However, it has been a balancing act for the BJP. Careful not to alienate the rest of the state, it has shied from using the word “Gorkhaland” but included the phrase “sympathetically examine the long pending demand of the Gorkhas” in its manifesto.
Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand, is projecting herself as an antagonist of the new-state demand.
Demand for Gorkhaland: Ethnic politics still key cards in Darjeeling

She set up boards for the “all-round development” of various communities. Lepcha, Tamang, Sherpa, Bhutia, Rai, Limboo and Mangar hill communities already have such boards, while others are in the pipeline.

“If the GTA (Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, an administrative setup with all 45 elected members owing allegiance to the GJM) would have done its job sincerely, there would be no need for development boards. Development boards are the demand of the people,” said Banerjee.

Not to miss out on the opportunity, the GJM too has promised similar boards under the GTA, and the BJP is banking on the promise to include 10 Gorkha communities and the Dhimal community in the Scheduled Tribes list.

Harka Bahadur Chettri, the sitting Kalimpong MLA who severed ties with the GJM and floated the Jan Andolan Party (JAP), is gnawing into the GJM support base in Kalimpong with the promise to upgrade the sub-division into a district.

When Gurung accused the JAP and the TMC of being “anti-Gorkhas”, the JAP responded by drafting the West Bengal Reorganization Bill 2016 for the formation of a separate state under Article 3 of the Constitution and dared the BJP to pass it in Parliament.

via: The Hindustan Times

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