Showing posts with label ABGL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ABGL. Show all posts

GJM & JAP both demands Inclusion of Dooars in Kalimpong district

11:12 AM
Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, June 7: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Jana Andolan Party, two principal parties in the hills, have suggested the incorporation of additional areas from the Dooars in the proposed Kalimpong district.

The proposals were made at an all-party meeting convened by Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava here today to seek feedback on the creation of Kalimpong district and Mirik subdivision. Sipchu, Toribari, Bagracote Pathorjhora, Ellenbari,Chilauna and Samsing - the Dooars areas the Morcha wanted to be in the Kalimpong district - are part of some of the 398 mouzas the party had demanded to be brought under the GTA's jurisdiction.

Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Morcha, said: "We support the creation of Kalimpong district, a demand we had first raised. We want areas like Sipchu, Toribari, Bagracote Pathorjhora, Ellenbari,Chilauna and Samsing (which are presently in Jalpaiguri district) to be incorporated in the new district. These areas are contiguous to the present Kalimpong subdivision."
The all-party meeting in Darjeeling on Tuesday. Picture by Suman Tamang

Giri said the Morcha wanted three subdivisions and seven blocks in the new district, and three blocks in Mirik subdivision.

Anmole Prasad, a member of the JAP's bureau, said the party had made a written submission on various aspects of the formation of the Kalimpong district. The JAP also wants parts of the Jalpaiguri district to be included in the new district.

"We want the boundaries of the new district to be redrawn so that its two sides have highways and a compact zone is created," said Prasad.

The JAP basically wants areas lying north of NH31 in Jalpaiguri district to be the southern boundary of the Kalimpong district and areas like Kalijhora, Lohapul, Suntalay and Rambi, which are along NH10 and in the Kurseong subdivision, to be the western border.

The JAP wants Kalimpong district to have three subdivisions and 10 blocks. The party demanded at the meeting that four blocks be created to make up the new Mirik subdivision.

"We also seek the formation of a committee comprising stakeholders, NGOs, experts and citizens to monitor and assist the formation of the district and the subdivision. Future meetings should be held at respective locations (Kalimpong and Mirik) to enable detailed discussions and new administrative townships should be created there to de-congest the area," said Prasad.

Representatives of parties like the GNLF, ABGL, CPRM and the Trinamul Congress also attended the meeting.

Srivastava said the parties had been asked to submit the suggestions in writing by tomorrow evening.

"An all-party meeting is usually called before the start of the process to create a new district. We have asked political parties to submit their suggestions in writing by tomorrow evening so that we can go through them and then prepare a report based on administrative feasibility. The report will be submitted to the government as early as possible," said Srivastava.


First party (ABGL) formed for a separate state no longer features on Darjeeling’s political map

9:13 AM
In house of man who started Gorkhaland stir, a family united by 3 political parties.

"The first ever party formed to fight for a separate state of Gorkhaland (ABGL was formed in 1943 by Damber Singh Gurung) no longer features on Darjeeling’s political map."

The Tamang family in Darjeeling is unique, at least politically. While Bharti Tamang, wife of late Madan Tamang heads the Akhil Bhartiya Gorkha League (ABGL), son Sanyog Tamang is with the ruling Trinamool Congress. Madan’s brother, Amar Lama, on the other hand, is backing Kalimpong MLA Dr Harka Bahadur Chettri’s Jan Andolan Party (JAP).

Bharti (69), who stays at Rhododendron — a bungalow surrounded by bushes of bright fuschia azaleas — in the town, is fielding only two candidates, both in Dooars. Her husband, former ABGL chief Madan Tamang was murdered in broad daylight in May 2010 allegedly by workers of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) headed by Bimal Gurung.
In house of man who started Gorkhaland stir, a family united by 3 political parties
Slain ABGL leader Madan Tamang’s son Sanyog and wife Bharti at their residence in Darjeeling on Sunday. While Sanyog is a TMC member, Bharti heads ABGL. Madan’s brother is backing Jan Andolan Party.Express photo by Partha Paul.
“We are supporting Jan Andolan Party in Kalimpong and therefore, have not fielded candidates from there. We have also decided not to field candidates in Darjeeling and Kurseong,” Bharti said, not giving a reason why.

Her 35-year-old son, Sanyog Tamang, was hopeful of bagging the ruling party ticket for Darjeeling, but was passed over. “In this family, different members belong to different parties. My mother heads ABGL, I am with Trinamool and my uncle is with JAP,” he said.

The first ever party formed to fight for a separate state of Gorkhaland (ABGL was formed in 1943 by Damber Singh Gurung) no longer features on Darjeeling’s political map.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Bharti said: “But they all came and sought my blessings… We support everyone except the GJM.”

The family alleged that despite warrants issued on court orders for the 13 named in Madan’s murder, no arrests have yet been made in the case.

In the 2011 Assembly polls, riding on sympathy wave at Madan Tamang’s murder, ABGL had fielded candidates in three main hill constituencies but lost all. “The ABGL could have won then. It needed to strike the iron while it was still hot. But it did not manage to capitalize on the situation. Now, it is no longer politically important,” said a political analyst.

But Sanyog claimed a number of anomalies determined the 2011 results. “We came to know later that there were many polling booths where votes weren’t even counted. We knew we had the support of the people, but in the face of rigging, of course my mother would lose,” he said.

On a rocking chair in Rhododendron’s conservatory, where Madan Tamang would usually sit, a sketched portrait of his is kept. A shelf holds a framed certificate that says he was a member of the National Geographic Society. “Most people knew my husband as a politician. But more than a politician, who would not compromise on Gorkhaland, he was a naturalist,” said Bharti.

The couple would supply and export seeds of rohododendrons and work for hours — with no employed gardener — on the estate plantation. Now, the Tamangs have shut down the seed business. Also, shut is the tea estate they ran in Meghma — while half of the estate fell Indian side, the other fell in Nepal.

Via indianexpress

Many a muddle in Hill election season

9:06 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, April 15: The hills, in every way alive to a multi-pronged election season, is also in the middle of a comedy of confusions.

A contestant from Darjeeling's oldest party decided at the eleventh hour that fighting an election was not what his family wanted him to do.

His indecisive party chief first pledged support to Trinamul, then retracted.

Trinamul also hit Harka Bahadur Chhetri with a bolt from the blue by making him the ruling party's official candidate from Kalimpong when the hill leader had planned to contest on his own party's symbol.

But first about Laxman Pradhan of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL), which is the oldest party in the Darjeeling hills.

The ABGL announced Pradhan as its Darjeeling candidate, but on the last day of filing nominations, March 29, Pradhan had a rethink.

When this newspaper called up Pradhan on March 29 to find out about his nomination, he said: "We are trying to find another candidate."

Pradhan explained: "I am actually not contesting as my family members are against it as I am a diabetic and have high blood pressure."

The call was made at 10.30am and Pradhan was confident that by 2pm, an alternative candidate would be found.

Well, no one was found. The ABGL does not have a contestant in Darjeeling.

After this, for some inexplicable reason, the ABGL also decided not to contest from the Kurseong seat.

The drama did not end here.

Trinamul candidate Sharda Rai Subba and the entire party district leadership went to Rhododendron Dell, residence of ABGL president Bharati Tamang soon.

The media was called to the Dell and Bharati announced that her party would support Trinamul.

But the next day, the party did a U-turn.

The next day at a media conference at the ABGL office, Bharati said her announcement the day before was her personal thought and the party would only decide on the matter on April 10. Trinamul leaders were speechless on hearing this.

Sources in the ABGL said after announcing to support Trinamul, party leaders realised they had not taken into account that its candidate, Ganesh Lama, was contesting from Nagrakata in the Dooars against Trinamul. A tie-up with Trinamul in the hills would confuse voters.

On April 10, ABGL general secretary Pratap Khati said: "In Darjeeling and Kurseong we urge the people to use their conscience."

But immediately after, he put out a spoiler alert. "They, however, should vote against the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha."

But what would the ABGL do in Kalimpong?

"We are not adverse to supporting the Jan Andolan Party (JAP)," said Khati. This did not clear the confusion completely because the JAP is an ally of Trinamul.

The JAP was hit by a bolt from the blue when its president Harka Bahadur Chhetri, was named the ruling party's official candidate.

Morcha president Bimal Gurung tried to deride Mamata Banerjee's move to make Kalimpong a separate district by claiming that the territory of Kalimpong had not been completely incorporated in the Indian union and it continued to be a land leased from Bhutan.

Via Telegraph

Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) withdrew support to TMC

7:42 PM
Darjeeling 5 Apr 2016 The Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League today withdrew its support to the two Trinamool candidates from Kurseong and Darjeeling asserting the party would first hold an internal meeting and decide on the matter in the near future. However, the party has not changed its decision of supporting Jan Andolan Party candidate Harka Bahadur Chhetri in Kalimpong.

Today’s statement is in sharp contrast to what transpired on Monday when a hill TMC delegation led by Darjeeling candidate Sarada Subba and general secretary NB Khawas met ABGL president Bharati Tamang. Tamang had announced before the media that the ABGL would support the TMC as the party wanted a change in the political establishment in the hills.

Speaking today at a press conference at the ABGL party office, Tamang said, “What I said yesterday regarding support to the TMC was entirely my personal decision and I believe this was misunderstood by the media. The final take on who the ABGL will support in Kurseong and Darjeeling will be decided only after we hold a party meeting either on April 8 or 9.”
Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League withdrew support to TMC
Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League Bharati Tamang
ABGL sources said Tamang may have been forced to retract her statement following pressure from senior party leaders as some of them are in favour of extending support to the candidates fielded by the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM).

Asked for his comment, hill TMC general secretary NB Khawas said, “We met the ABGL president in her house yesterday seeking her party’s support for our candidates from Kurseong and Darjeeling and she was positive in her response. As for the sudden change in her stand, we would not like to say anything as it is for the ABGL to decide on the matter.”


Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League to support TMC for assembly election

8:21 AM
Darjeeling 4 Apr 2016 The Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League has become the third party to extend support to the two Trinamool Congress candidates in the hills for the Assembly election. The announcement was made today by ABGL president Bharati Tamang from her residence after a hill TMC delegation met her led by Darjeeling TMC candidate Saradha Subba.

The ABGL president said, “The TMC delegation that came visiting today requested us to support the two candidates in the hills, namely in Kurseong and Darjeeling, and we have agreed to do so. The main reason why we are supporting the Trinamool is because, along with the general public of the hills, we want change.”

The TMC has fielded Subba in Darjeeling and Shanta Chhetri in Kurseong. In Kalimpong, they are supporting Jan Andolan Party candidate Harka Bahadur Chhetri. The other two political parties extending support to the TMC are the JAP and the Gorkha National Liberation Front. The TMC has also formed committees comprising representatives of the JAP and the GNLF for campaigning purposes.
Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League
Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League - a file Photo
Earlier, the ABGL had decided to field its own candidates in Darjeeling and Kurseong, but changed plans eventually, saying do so would mean division of votes. Ganesh Lama is the only candidate fielded by the ABGL for the election, and he is contesting from Nagarkatta.

Responding to the support received from the ABGL, hill TMC general secretary NB Khawas said, “We met the ABGL president today at her residence and requested her party’s support for our candidates in Kurseong and Darjeeling, and she has agreed to do so. We are now more confident of winning in the election with three parties supporting us. We will try to hold joint campaigns wherever we feel they are necessary, but these things have to be discussed first.”


Jan Andolan Party hopes for land rights talk with State

JAP hopes for land rights talk

Vivek Chhetri
Darjeeling, Feb. 24: The Jan Andolan Party today said it was hopeful that the state will start a dialogue with the leaders on granting land rights to tea garden and cinchona plantation residents before the model code of conduct is in place.

Yesterday, JAP leaders had met Arup Biswas, the state sports and youth affairs minister, in Siliguri.

Amar Lama, bureau member, JAP, today told The Telegraph: "We are very hopeful that the state government will initiate a dialogue... very soon. We are hopeful that it will happen before the model code of conduct is enforced."

More than 70 per cent of the nearly 8.75 lakh people in the region reside in tea gardens and cinchona plantations.

The Parcha Patta Demand Committee, a frontal organisation of JAP, had launched an indefinite protest here on February 17 demanding a dialogue with the state on the issue.

Today, JAP president Harka Bahadur Chhetri who visited the dharna venue said: "We will definitely contest the Assembly polls. On December 15, 2015, I had raised the land rights issue in the Assembly. We have discussed it with Arup Biswas and he will apprise the chief minister in detail. I am leaving for Calcutta today... In the Assembly, if I get an opportunity, I will discuss the matter with the chief minister."

He said: "We need to draw the state's attention from the grassroot and show the demand has support of people."

The ABGL, GNLF and CPM leaders have supported JAP by leaving comments on a register at the dharna venue.


Bimal Gurung distributed Cash During Padyatra - CPRM

8:03 AM

Writes: Vivek Chhetri

The CPRM today alleged that Bimal Gurung was distributing money to people during his ongoing padayatra and urged the government to investigate his source of funds.

The Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists launched a broadside against the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president at a public meeting organised to mark its 19th foundation day.

"Wherever Bimal Gurung is going, he is distributing cash. Where is this money coming from? The Bengal government and agencies like the income tax department and vigilance must be proactive and look into this issue," Govind Chhetri, the spokesman for the CPRM, told the gathering at Chowk Bazar here.

The CPRM alleged that Gurung was distributing cash to tea garden workers and the common people during his padayatra. The march, which was started by Gurung on October 2, on Gandhi Jayanti, was suspended yesterday as he left for Delhi to take part in a three-day dharna on Gorkhaland starting from December 17. The procession will resume when Gurung returns to the hills. Sources in the Morcha couldn't say when the GTA chief executive would be back in the hills.

"He (Gurung) started his statehood movement on Gandhian principles (non-violence and democracy) but now we realise that his objective is the Gandhis on the note (currency)," Chhetri said, implying that the Morcha leader was after the Indian currency, which bears the image of Mahatma Gandhi.

"There has been no development in the hills. There has been no development in the region. The only guys who have developed are the leaders (of the Morcha)," said Chhetri.

"The padayatra was started on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi's agitation path but while the Father of the Nation used to stay wherever possible, this padayatra is turning out to be a big picnic with the leader staying at rest houses and guest houses."

The Morcha denied the charges raised by the CPRM.

Jyoti Kumar Rai, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, said: "Gurung is not distributing money anywhere. He is helping some people on medical grounds through the GTA. He is distributing cheques to poor people to construct houses through Hamro Ghar Yojana of the GTA. That is all."

The CPRM also attacked the administration for registering cases against hill opposition leaders for taking out a rally from Gorkha Dukha Niwarak Sammelan Hall to Chowrasta where ABGL leader Bharati Tamang was to sit for a hunger strike demanding justice in the case related to the murder of her husband.

"Look at the way the administration behaved against us. We were seeking justice but cases were slapped on us. The convoys of leaders throw public life out of gear when they move along the highway but no cases are slapped on them. Even the police officers present at the venue behaved very rudely with Bharati Tamang asking her to hold her hunger strike at her home," said Chhetri.

"It is just a matter of time before the killers of Madan Tamang are brought to book," said Chhetri.

Bharati had sat on the hunger strike on June 14 under the banner of the Democratic Front, a conglomeration of ABGL, GNLF, CPRM and Sikkim-Darjeeling Ekikaran Manch. The Front leaders were charged with blocking road on the day they took out the march from Gorkha Dukha Niwarak Sammelan Hall.

Source Telegraph

"Kalimpong District only possible under Mamata" - Harka Bahadur Chhetri

11:31 AM
Have support to raise district plea: Harka
Writes: Rajeev Ravidas

Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri today said he would campaign for the creation of Kalimpong district as he had "phenomenal support" from the people of the hills and political parties.

Before leaving for Calcutta today, Chhetri told The Telegraph that political parties had asked him to co-ordinate the campaign and once he returned to the hills, he would "formalise things".

"I have been asked informally by political parties and other organisations to co-ordinate the campaign for Kalimpong district. I have been receiving phenomenal support from the people. People are very excited. I will be going to Calcutta today to discuss the development with the state government and I hope to meet some ministers (there). After returning, probably on Thursday, I will formalise things (the campaign)," he said.

Over the past few days, Chhetri has received support from anti-Gorkha Janmukti Morcha hill organisations like the ABGL, CPRM and Gorkhaland Rajya Nirman Morcha (GRNM).
"Kalimpong District only possible under Mamata" - Harka Bahadur Chhetri
Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Mamata Banerjee
He said if Kalimpong district were to be formed ever, it would happen only under chief minister Mamata Banerjee. "One has to work for it. I strongly feel that if it happens, if it becomes a reality, it is only possible under Mamata. The kind of leadership that she has, she can do it and nobody else."

Today, Chhetri also said he was willing to join hands with anyone who wanted to work for Kalimpong's benefit. "I don't see any loss in taking help from anyone if it benefits the people of Kalimpong. That is what every right thinking politician should aspire for."

The leader who had resigned from the Morcha recently said: "There is too much sentimental politics in the hills, right from the beginning. It is only about sentiments and emotions, no rational and reasonable issue has come up as a popular demand. Sentiments have been exploited (by parties) over centuries."

Without naming anyone, he added: "I want people to become more reasonable and demand from leaders things that are tangible. We are not even being able to manage the municipality properly. It is because of the quality of leadership that we have."

ABGL vice-president Pratap Khati said today: "Yes, we are for the creation of Kalimpong district. I suggest that a steering committee comprising all political parties, civil society leaders and NGOs under Dr Chhteri be formed and the matter be taken forward."

Khati added that ABGL leaders met in Darjeeling today and discussed the demand to create Kurseong, and Siliguri-Mirik districts along with Kalimpong. "We will write to the chief minister about it."

An observer said the Morcha was now trying to play catch-up with Chhetri on the issue.

"Chhetri brought the issue to the limelight by cleverly linking it to the perceived dominating attitude of the largely Darjeeling-based Morcha leadership towards Kalimpong. The Morcha will now find it difficult to take the wind out of Chhetri's sails," said the observer.

Source Telegraph

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