Showing posts with label CPIM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CPIM. Show all posts

How 'coach' Mamata has made it tough for Bhaichung Bhutia to score a goal

9:25 AM
Writes: Priyata Brajabasi [for Catch News]

Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia is fighting on a Trinamool Congress ticket in the on-going West Bengal Assembly elections from Siliguri. The football icon is taking on veteran CPI(M) leader Ashok Bhattarcharya who is four-time MLA from the same constituency and is currently the mayor of Siliguri.

The Sikkimese player is a popular candidate who is contesting from West Bengal for the second time, the first time being from Darjeeling in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections where he lost to BJP's SS Ahluwalia by 196,795 votes.

His immense popularity in Bengal may not be enough to earn him an assembly seat from the constituency. The party’s decision to field him from Siliguri was a surprise for many including Bhaichung himself.

In a conversation with Catch in Siliguri Bhaichung said, “When I have decided to join the TMC, I have to listen to the head of the party. It’s the leader that decides who should contest and from where. In football too the coach decides where I play, when I play and whether I am fit enough to play. I may or may not be happy about the decision but I have to listen to the leader. Didi wanted me to fight from Siliguri. But it’s not like I was dying to contest from here.”
Ashok Bhattarcharya
Ashok Bhattarcharya
Many feel Mamata Banerjee’s decision is almost a free pass for the CPI(M) in the area. Political commentator Partha Pratim Biswas feels this was a bad decision on Mamata’s part. “We love Bhaichung Bhutia, the footballer, but we don’t think that he is experienced enough as a politician, especially in front of Ashok Bhattarcharya who has won from Siliguri multiple times. He should have contested from an area where this opponent wasn’t as experienced or well liked.”

CPI(M) heavyweight Ashok Bhattarcharya is very confident about his chances of winning. Speaking to Catch News in Siliguri he said, “Bhaichung was a very good footballer but he is not a very good politician. He doesn’t know Siliguri or its people and they do not know him either. If it were a clash between two footballers, he would have won. But it’s a political battle and I don’t think he has enough experience to win.”

However, Ashok Bhattarcharya was defeated in the previous assembly elections by TMC’s Rudra Nath Bhattacharya. “There was a TMC wave in 2011, people wanted a change. So I was defeated. But after seeing Mamata’s fascist rule in the state and the various corruption charges against TMC, they will see the Left as a better bet”.

What works in Bhaichung's favour
However, Bhaichung’s potential as a youth leader cannot be written off.

Shyam Roy, an engineering student in North Bengal University feels that Bhaichung Bhutia is exactly what Siliguri needs. “Siliguri has immense potential to be one of the biggest commercial cities in the state as well as the country. It can be a sports city as well given the sportsmen and sports enthusiasts in the region. Siliguri requires a leader with fresh and modern ideas. Bhaichung he can bring that to Siliguri, something other leaders cannot offer. He deserves a chance.”

Bhaichung’s decision to contest from West Bengal despite being a Sikkimese stems from his long association with the state. “I have lived in Kolkata for 25 years. I have played for Kolkata based clubs all my life. I left Sikkim when I was 15. I feel like I am from Bengal and people have accepted me as their own. This is why when I got an offer from Mamata Banerjee to contest from Darjeeling in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and now again, I accepted the opportunity.”

His association with TMC, he says, happened by chance. “I was always interested in politics even during my football days. I always thought I would join politics eventually but the timing was something I wasn’t too sure about. When Mamata Banerjee approached me, I was surprised but I took it up the challenge. Had I been approached by a party in Delhi or Sikkim or even Manipur I may have joined if I felt it was right”.

Gorkhaland question
As Siliguri comes under the Darjeeling district, the Gorkhaland issue is crucial here. The Gorkhali population in Siliguri is about 40%.

Bhutia is very categorical that he would be very happy if Gorkhaland is formed. This, in spite of the fact that Mamata Banerjee has clearly stated that she will not allow the division of the state.

“It is not as if the TMC candidates in the hills are against Gorkhaland. They have sacrificed their entire lives for the people of the hills and for Gorkhaland. But they have realised that development in the hills is more important than separation,” Bhutia said.

He further accused the BJP of double standards.
“People have realised that the party at the Centre is not on board; the BJP MP from Darjeeling hasn’t raised the issue of Gorkhaland in Parliament despite winning the seat on an appeal for Gorkhaland. It is not just Mamata or the state government that is against the movement, the Centre is as well,” Bhutia added.

Mamata Banerjee’s move to bring ex-GJM leader and sitting MLA Harkha Bahadur Chettri into the TMC fold has pushed the GJM and the Left parties closer. Ashok Bhattarcharya announced last month that the Left would not field candidates in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.

While speaking to Catch News, Ashok Bhattarcharya said, “We are not supporting the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) nor are we seeking support from them. But both the Left and the GJM are fighting against TMC. We are weak in the hills, and we don't want division of anti-TMC votes. We will welcome anyone who defeats the TMC”

Left leaders have encouraged their supporters and workers in the hills to vote for the GJM without lending official support to the party. This means that the Left and the BJP, which is an ally of the GJM, are on the same side in the hills.

The Left Front however has openly opposed the GJM’s appeal for Gorkhaland.

Tough competition for Bhaichung
Despite being a celebrity candidate, Bhaichung has a difficult road ahead of him. “You think I achieved everything I did in football, easily? Nothing in life comes easy. Yes Ashok Bhattarcharya has won the seat 4 times and he has been a state minister too. It will be a tough fight but I think I am better prepared, certainly more than I was last time around. We are more organised. My chances seem good.”

Via: Catch News, Originally posted in:

Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri slams GJM alliance with CPI(M)

10:12 AM
Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri expressed his utter surprise upon the alliance of GJMM and CPI(M) in this coming elections. This is a Black Day for Gorkhas. Because of CPI(M) more than 12 hundreds Gorkhaland martyrs have lost their lives during 86 Gorkhaland agitation and also five Gorkhaland supporters in Sibsu in 2007, it is very unfortunate for Gorkha community to alliance with such a party which has records of insulting our women and lathi-charge on peaceful rally of Ex army. This clearly indicates a motive of GJMM, said Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri.

CPM have recently extended their unconditional support to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in three hill Assembly seats to defeat the Trinamool Congress in the Assembly Election 2016. "With a view to defeat the Trinamool Congress in the three seats of Darjeeling , Kurseong and Kalimpong, we have decided to extend support to the regional party which has the sway in the region," said Communist Party of India-Marxist Darjeeling secretary Jibesh Sarkar said.
Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri slams GJM alliance with CPI(M)
Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri slams GJM alliance with CPI(M) 
On the other hand Mamata Banerjee in a rally in Siliguri attacked on CPM for their support to GJM " Ohey Gurung Bhai, Siliguri Eso, Tomay Chara Amar Jeta Nai... (Dear brother Gurung, please come in Siliguri. I cannot win without you)," Mamata said, scoffing at Asok Bhattacharya, the CPM candidate for Siliguri. "They are speaking over the phone with Morcha leaders and asking for support in the plains, knowing well that the Morcha has an alliance with the BJP."

CPI(M) Extends Unconditional Support to GJM in the Hills

10:13 AM
The CPI-M-led Left Front, while it is yet to finalise its tie up with the Congress, on Saturday extended support to the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) in the West Bengal assembly polls.

While the state's ruling Trinamool Congress flayed the Left for supporting a party aligned to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the GJM which holds sway in the Darjeeling hills of north Bengal refrained from commenting.

"With a view to defeat the Trinamool Congress in the three seats of Darjeeling , Kurseong and Kalimpong, we have decided to extend support to the regional party which has the sway in the region," said Communist Party of India-Marxist Darjeeling secretary Jibesh Sarkar said.

He said the Front has decided not to field any candidates in three constituencies to prevent anti-Trinamool vote from getting divided.

"We haven't discussed the issue within the party as of now. So we cannot comment on this," said GJM general secretary Roshan Giri.

Trinamool, which has been ridiculing both the Left and the Congress over their tie-up, hit out at the Marxists.
CPI(M) Extends Unconditional Support to GJM in the Hills
CPI(M) Extends Unconditional Support to GJM in the Hills
"This indicates the political bankruptcy of the CPI-M and the Left that they are now eager to support a party which is an ally of the BJP," said North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb.

The GJM won the Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong seats in the 2011 assembly polls.


Hill CPI(M) Points Out Bengal Discrimination in Ration Distribution

10:47 AM
The Hill CPI(M) team yesterday led by Mr. Tara Sundas paraded evidences of deliberate discrimination by the Bengal government against the hill people.

Highlighting the discrimination, Mr. Sundas said "while the victims of calamity in Singur are given 8kgs of ration every week, the victims of Aila in Darjeeling continue to get only 11kgs of ration every month... how or why is our suffering any different than the suffering of the people in the plains? why is it that the hill people are not given equal ration, despite the fact that the same order is applicable in Singur and Darjeeling hills?"

Mr. Sundas further said, "On 20th March 2014 the Central govt decided to distribute ration at the lowest rate to 6.20 crore people, yet the people in Darjeeling who are on the verge of starvation have never benefited from this low cost ration... so where are the ration going? Why is Bengal govt depriving the hill community, despite the central government passing the order?"
Ration in hills distributed from sacks and Ration in Siliguri handed out in proper packages
Ration in hills distributed from sacks and Ration in Siliguri handed out in proper packages
Mr. Sundas also showed that in Siliguri ration is handed out in packets, which makes it clean and safe... where as in the hills the ration is still handed out from the sacks, which makes the ration go bad very soon. He added that often rotten ration is distributed in the hills.

CPI(M) has threatened a widespread protest if the hill people continue to be discriminated against.

Via TheDC

Electoral tie-up with Gorkha Janamukti Morcha(GJM) may cause heavy loss to CPI(M) in West Bengal

9:58 AM
SILIGURI: Joining hands with enemy on short term electoral game is not a new drama in Indian political theatre. But the presently brewing up soft tone of CPI(M) towards its hard core enemy Gorkha Janamukti Morcha(GJM) in Darjeeling hills in northern West Bengal, may cause large scale damage to the left party instead of offering any gain in coming assembly election that is to take place during April or May this year.

Since its coming into existence in 2007, GJM had always been considered as hard core enemy of CPI(M). The hills based party GJM, supported by mainly Nepali speaking communities, always remained standing on its main demand for separate statehood in the name of Gorkhaland splitting Darjeeling hills and adjoining plains from rest part of the state. On the other hand, CPI(M) always remained against the demand keeping mass Bengali sentiment against any split in the state in mind.
Electoral tie-up with Gorkha Janamukti Morcha(GJM) may cause heavy loss to CPI(M) in West Bengal
CPI(M) Bengal
But, Dr. S. K. Misra, CPI(M) state Secretary said today at Siliguri, "Any democratic and secular force or power is welcome with us to uproot this autocratic Trinamool Congress ruled Government." CPI(M) top leader Mr. Ashok Bhattacharya said earlier, "If situation demands, we may welcome GJM also." Clear enough, CPI(M) is now desperate to march with any anti TMC-anti BJP force.
When asked on the issue, GJM President Mr. Bimal Gurung also commented in favour of joining hands with CPI(M) or Congress to defeat TMC.

"This GJM friendship may not benefit CPI(M) at all," commented political observers. As they explained- out of total 294 elected seats in the state assembly, GJM earlier showed its absolute strength in 3 seats and significant presence in around 10 seats in foothills. But the party is near absent in rest of the state. Moreover, following erection of many community based 'Development Boards' by TMC Government, the whole Nepali speaking community support base is no more with GJM but fragmented among many ethnic bodies.
Thus any handshaking with GJM may ensure win of CPI(M) in few seats in foothills. But, "The the whole state hosting anti- Gorkhaland sentiment will go against lefts," they said. On the other side, TMC has already started distancing from GJM after remaining close alley for long. Thus the state sentiment will go in favour of TMC causing further loss of LF.

Via ET

Hill parties should learn from this - CPI(M), AVP, Congress Join Hands against TMC

10:42 AM
CPI(M), AVP, Congress Join Hands to Keep TMC at Bay in Two Siliguri Panchayat Samities

The CPM today entered into an alliance with the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad and the Congress to keep Trinamul away from power at two panchayat samities under the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad.

The Left Front had majority in two panchayat samities - Kharibari and Matigara. Today, the Front tied up with non-Trinamul parties to form boards at Naxalbari and Phansidewa panchayat samities, which were hung.

In Naxalbari, of the total 18 seats, the CPM had won eight. The party got the magic figure with the support of two winners of the Parishad and one of the Congress. Trinamul's seven candidates did not participate in the electoral process today and walked out from the block office before the board was formed.

Saroj Kiran Toppo of the Parishad became the sabhapati and Md Islam of the CPM became the deputy.

"Our aim was to keep Trinamul out of power and we appealed to all political parties (to join). We are overwhelmed that they reciprocated. After keeping away Trinamul in the panchayats, we have sent a message that Trinamul no longer enjoys indomitable status in the state," said Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya, who is also a CPM state secretariat member.
Hill parties should learn from this - CPI(M), AVP, Congress Join Hands against TMC
CPI(M), AVP, Congress Join
Hands against TMC
At Phansidewa, of the total 21 seats, Trinamul had eight. Later, the party got support from two members, one each from the BJP and the Congress. The Left, which had seven seats, formed the board with support of four Congress members.

Biswajit Nandi and Nistar Lakra of the CPM became the sabhapati and the deputy, respectively.

Today, the Left formed the board at Matigara and Kharibari as well.

A local Trinamul leader said they were kept in dark about the formation of the rural boards by the district leadership. "The district leaders did not bother to consult us before selecting candidates and we were ignored after the results. No strategy was followed to form the boards," a senior party leader said.

Ranjan Sarkar, the newly-appointed president of Darjeeling district Trinamul, however, said the way the boards were formed proved the CPM-Congress nexus once again. "We have accepted defeat against the tacit understanding between the two parties. We will analyse the results and work for better outcome in the coming Assembly polls."

[Via: Telegraph]

CPIM hand behind renewal of ‪‎Gorkhaland‬ agitation - Gautam Deb

11:00 AM
Minister Gautam Deb today said Bimal Gurung's decision to resume the statehood agitation was a result of a meeting between Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya and Swaraj Thapa, the principal advisor to the GTA.

"Bimal Gurung's decision to resume the movement for statehood is the outcome of the recent meeting between Asok Bhattacharya and Swaraj Thapa. It is after this meeting that Morcha leaders sharpened attacks at the state and our party," Deb said. "We feel that Asok Bhattacharya is inciting the (Gorkha Janmukti) Morcha to resume its movement. People who are trying to encourage those who want division of Bengal will not succeed."

On September 22, Thapa had called on Bhattacharya and both leaders had termed the meeting "personal".
CPIM hand behind renewal of ‪‎Gorkhaland‬ agitation - Gautam Deb
CPIM hand behind renewal of ‪‎Gorkhaland‬ agitation - Gautam Deb Pic via Himalaya Darpan
Yesterday, Bimal Gurung, had said the Morcha would resume the movement soon.

Bhattacharya said: "I have said Swaraj Thapa is known to me for the past 10-12 years. It was entirely a personal visit. We have already cleared our stand over Gorkhaland and said that we don't want any division of state. Trinamul has given recognition to the demand by signing the GTA accord, where it was mentioned that Morcha was not dropping its demand for Gorkhaland. This has encouraged them."

Today, Trinamul published its manifesto for the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad polls.

Source Telegraph

Bharati sets Sunday deadline for fast onto death stir, DF prepares Sunday address

10:21 PM
Darjeeling June 11: If the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders are a worried lot at present in the hills, the opposition (read anti-GJM outfits), specifically AIGL, are not far behind. Apprehensive of CBI taking its time to arrest top rung GJM leaders despite warrant being issued, Bharati Tamang, the AIGL president has decided to sit on a fast onto death stir from Sunday.
Political forum–'Democratic Front' in Darjeeling
Political forum–'Democratic Front' in Darjeeling
Twenty-three GJM leaders of high profile has been charge sheeted by the CBI on the Madan Tamang murder case. A Calcutta city court has already issued warrant of arrest for the 23 leaders including Bimal Gurung, the GJM chief. However, with GJM filing anticipatory bail at the Calcutta High court and hearing for the same pending because of cease work for three days, the party which rules the GTA is a worried lot.

The CBI whatsoever has not arrested anyone so far and things have no gone well with the AIGL. “The fast onto death is a last resort for me. The CBI is only dillydallying arrest,” Tamang told journalists on Thursday. Bharati Tamang is also the widow of slain leader Madan Tamang.
Tamang had been murdered on May 21, 2010 under broad daylight at Clubside in Darjeeling while overseeing preparation for a public address that he was to make on the very day.

Bharati’s fast onto death is expected to be followed by a public meeting on Sunday to be organized by the Democratic Front (DF). The DF is a conglomeration of four anti-GJM hill parties formed with an aim to return democracy in the hills. The conglomerate also vouches to work for seeking justice in the Madan Tamang murder case.  The DF comprises of the AIGL, Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist, Gorkha National Liberation Front and the Sikkim Darjeeling Merger Forum.

“Permission has been applied for the meet on Sunday. We have also put up posters to sensitize the mass in the hills,” said Shankar hang Subba, the spokesperson for DF.

CPIM withdrawal 

Ironically, days after the formation of the conglomerate the CPIM has withdrawn itself from the DF. The CPIM top leadership in the district feels that the DF should also take up other issues. “The Madan Tamang murder is a sub-judice matter and we find no point is seeking justice through a forum seems redundant. So we withdrew,” said Saman Pathak, a CPIM district secretariat member.

The DF countered saying that the CPIM’s decision to step back has many reasons. “The CPIM was heading the Government when Madan Tamang was murdered. The role of the then West Bengal Government on this issue is murky. Why were there no adequate security arrangements despite anticipation of trouble? How did Nickol Tamang, supposed to be the mastermind of the murder, disappear from the custody of the CID?” said Pratap Khati, the ABGL secretary.

Source: The Himalayan Mirror

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