Showing posts with label kurseong. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kurseong. Show all posts

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.”


TMC - GNL-JAP teams up for Joint Campaigning in the Hill.

8:53 AM
A meeting was held at Darjeeling on 02 April on mobilization of joint campaigning for their chosen candidates in upcoming Assembly Poll which was attended by the Office bearer of GNLF, TMC and Jan Andolan Party JAP.

For the joint campaigining a committee too was formed for streaming task in respective levels to outreach mass.

Note TMC has fielded candidates in Darjeeling, Kurseong seats and it is supporting JAP candidate Dr. Harka Bdr Chettri in Kalimpong seat. In returnJAP is supporting TMC candidate Sradha Subba in Darjeeling and Shanti Chhetri in Kurseong.

GNLF has not fielded any candidates, it is suporting TMC and JAP.

With elections round the corner, leaders from Trinmool Congress, Jan Andolan Party and Gorkha National Liberation Front met yesterday in Darjeeling to chuck-out election strategy to defeat GJM in the upcoming legislative elections.

JAP, TMC and GNLF have decided to campaign at the grass-roots level together and reach out to the people from door-to-door in order to ensure win for Ms. Sarada Subba from Darjeeling, Ms. Shanta Chettri from Kurseong, and Dr. Harka Chettri from Kalimpong.

WHOM ARE WE TO VOTE FOR? Wonders Jan Andolan Party supporters in supporters in Kurseong and Darjeeling

9:07 AM
Kurseong: JAP (Jan Andolan Party) is what was expected to get the GJM zapped in in the upcoming elections... however they are far from living this dream, as their own party members are not sure who they are expected to support.

Speaking to the Pres yesterday, Jan Andolan Party's Kurseong Convenor Mr. Niraj Dumzan stated, "we are clueless as to whom JAP is officially expected to support in Kurseong.... we have slogged hard for JAP to win over the people of Kurseong and it is sad that the party [JAP] leaders have only focused on Kalimpong while giving a hoot about their supporters in Kurseong and Darjeeling..."

He stated, "we are dedicated to JAP and if the Party tells us to support one or the other political group, we will actively do so... but sadly in their quest to cultivate Kalimpong, they seem to have completely forgotten about us..."
WHOM ARE WE TO VOTE FOR? Wonders Jan Andolan Party supporters in supporters in Kurseong and Darjeeling

Via TheDC

GNLF to support TMC and JAP in Assembly Elections 2016

6:06 PM
GNLF (Gorkha National Liberation Front) has decided to support TMC and JAP (Jan Andolan Party) in this Assembly Elections 2016. It is stated that GNLF will support TMC in Darjeeling and Kurseong and JAP in Kalimpong.

The following is what Neeraj Zimba Tamang a senior GNLF leader had to say on the party's decisions.

Dear Green Lovers,

Elections to the Bengal Assembly will take place in April 17, 2016. The Gorkha National Liberation Front, as you all now known by now, has decided not to directly enter the electoral fray. On this occasion, I on behalf of the G.N.L.F Party, am pleased to present before you the 'PARTY’S DECISION DOCUMENT', which sets forth, although in few words, our Party's core beliefs, basic commitments to our people, realizing the dream and destiny of Gorkha Father Subash Ghishing and our priority agenda of Sixth Schedule for the coming years and beyond.

The GJM era in Gorkha politics is now almost over. The era of corruption and dadagiri …distrust and disharmony … murders and arms/land mafia …. violence and vandalism … nepotism and favoritism .. must come to an end. Godse in the mask of Gandhi has to be unveiled. The GJM has failed the Gorkha community and the Gorkha people in all aspect. It has just remained a party of few vested and agents of status quo. It has just made fake promises and zero performance. The era of the G.N.L.F has once again begun --- the era of truth, justice and equality, democracy and all round development -- will triumph. Be Proud that you will be a part of it.

For the G.N.L.F, election has always been secondary. Our vision, our political mission and our distinctive identity have always been personified by OUR GREAT LEADER SUBASH GHISHING. Since the inception of the GREEN FLAG on 5th April 1980, our leader had relentlessly worked until his last breath for the identity, destiny and survival of the Indian Gorkhas and for their homeland, guiding the Party throughout its steady march forward in over past four decades, inspiring us with his speeches, his thoughts and philosophy, poetry and policy, his books and simple looks, sometimes with his deafening silence, and above all his towering and incorruptible personality. Even in death he continues to inspire us.

I do hope that this ‘PARTY’S DECISION DOCUMENT' succeeds in persuading you to give your unflenching support to our Leader Sri. Maan Ghishing and our GNLF Party.

We are a great party, and yes we can be even better. Believe in us. Jai Gorkha. Jai Subash.

GNLF to support TMC and JAP in Assembly Elections 2016
Press release

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha ally with BJP only in plains for Assembly Election

10:03 AM
Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, March 24: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today said it will only support the BJP in the plains Assembly segments at a time the Left Front has not fielded any nominee against the party in the hills.

Earlier this month, the Left Front had said it would support the Morcha in the three hill seats.

Today, Morcha general Roshan Giri said: "We have fielded our own candidates in the three hill segments of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong as well as Islampur and Chopra in the plains. Apart from this, our choices (nominees) have been given BJP tickets from Kalchini, Madarihat, Nagrakata and Kumargram. In the rest of the seats, our party will support the BJP candidates as we are in an alliance with them. We have never sought support from other parties as we are in an alliance with the BJP."

The CPM's decision to not contest in the hills had put pressure on the Morcha with the Jan Andolan Party (JAP), alleging that Bimal Gurung's outfit had an understanding with those against statehood.
GJM general secretary Roshan Giri
GJM general secretary Roshan Giri
Today, Morcha president Gurung said: "We are confident of our victory in the hills but we have to work hard in the plains. We cannot take things lightly even in Kalchini."

The Morcha's Bishal Lama has been given the BJP ticket from Kalchini.

In the last two Assembly polls, Morcha-supported Wilson Chapramary had won from Kalchini. This time, however, Chapramary is the Trinamul nominee.

Observers said the Morcha was eager to distance itself from the CPM's announcement of support as its rivals in the hills are expected to raise the issue during campaigning.

CPM state secretariat member Asok Bhattacharya had said: "We have not fielded any candidate in the hills as we believe that the Morcha is the strongest political party there and since it is also against the TMC, we did not want any division in the anti-TMC votes. The support, however, does not mean that we are seeking support from the Morcha in the plains."

In another development, GNLF's Sagar Rai, Basant Pradhan, Jipsang Lepcha and Migma Sherpa joined the Morcha, along with 40-odd supporters.

The ABGL today named Laxman Pradhan, the party vice-president, as its Darjeeling candidate.

The names of the candidates for Kalimpong and Kurseong seats have not been finalised yet.


GJM Candidates Declared for Darjeeling and Doors for Assemble election 2016

3:04 PM
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has declared their list of candidates for Darjeeling and Dooars seats for the upcoming Bengal Assembly Election 2016 in April. Interestingly Ms. Sarita Rai is contesting from Kalimpong who will be contesting against Dr Harka Bahadur Chettri.

Here is the full list.

Darjeeling : Mr. Amar Singh Rai
Kalimpong: Ms. Sarita Rai
Kurseong: Dr Rohit Sharma
Nagarkata: Mr. John Barla
Islampur Chopra: Mr. M Altamas Choudhary
Chopra: Mr Hazi Naseer Ahmed Khan
Kalchini: Mr. Bishal Lama
Madirahat: Mr. Manoj Tigga
Kumar Gram: Mr. Lewis Kujur

GJM Candidates  for Assemble election 2016
GJM Candidates  for Assemble election 2016

Via TheDC

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."

Mamata Banerjee's meeting next to CBSE exam centre in Kurseong

9:38 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, March 14: Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to address a public meeting tomorrow at Monteviot Ground in Kurseong, less than 100m away from a school where students would be taking their Class X board exams.

Although the meeting near Godwin Modern School is being described as an "indoor" event, till late this afternoon, the space between the main dais and the sitting area for Trinamul supporters was not covered.

A pandal has been erected on the remaining space with a cloth covering on top, which is unlikely to block any noise.

According to the environment department rules, there is a blanket ban on outdoor use of loudspeakers starting from three days before the commencement of any board examination till its end.

Godwin Modern School is an exam centre where 26 CBSE students from different schools outside Kurseong would write their Class X English Communicative paper from 10.30am to 1.30pm tomorrow.
The main dais (left) under construction at Monteviot Ground in Kurseong and a pandal (right) being erected for
Trinamul supporters. The blue building behind the stage is Godwin Modern School. Picture by Suman Tamang
Apart from test, the school that has 110 students studying from Pre-nursery to Class XII holds regular classes from 8am till 2.30pm.

Trinamul leaders said the public meeting was scheduled to start after 1.30pm. "It is an indoor meeting and it will start after 1.30pm and end around 4.30pm tomorrow," said Rajen Mukhia, president, Trinamul (Hills). He added that they had sought permission for the meeting as an indoor event.

Bipul Kumar Biswas, the subdivisional officer of Kurseong, who issued the permit for the event as the assistant returning officer, refused to comment today.

The authorities of Godwin Modern School refused to be drawn into any controversy.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has objected to the meeting saying the examinees in the school building will be sitting closer to Mamata than her supporters who would come to listen to her.

"Compare the distance between the dais and the school and between the dais and the last man standing inside their so-called pandal. We are surprised. How was permission granted to organise the meeting when the board exams are being held? We have lodged a complaint with the state's chief electoral officer (complaint number 126030240002619)," said Yogendra Rai, president, Morcha town committee (Kurseong) who is also an elected GTA Sabha member.

The complaint naming Mukhia was lodged today.

"Imagine the amount of noise that would be generated even before 1.30pm. There are a number of residential buildings in the area and apart from CBSE, ICSE and ISC examinations are also on. Other schools near the venue are Dawn Boarding and Little Flower schools. But the closest is Godwin Modern School," Rai said. "We have requested the assistant returning officer to cancel the permit. If this is the situation under which TMC is being allowed to hold a public meeting then all other political parties should be given permission for the same."

Asked about the complaint, Anurag Srivastava, the district returning officer and Darjeeling district magistrate, said: "I have learnt from the SDO, Kurseong, who had issued the permission that the meeting is in a covered pandal, which is treated as an indoor place. Restriction by the pollution control board on mike use is not applicable to indoor places. The condition of granting permission is that sound should not emanate from the pandal and students should not be disturbed."


Gorkha Rashtriya Congress to contest election with ‪Darjeeling‬-‪Sikkim‬ merger as agenda

11:00 PM
The Gorkha Rashtriya Congress party, which is championing the merger of Darjeeling with Sikkim, today announced its decision of fielding candidates from the three seats in the hills and one from Siliguri for the state Assembly election.

Senior leaders of the party said they would make the merger issue the main election agenda, which is in sharp contrast to the almost customary compulsion of other political parties of making either the demand for a Gorkhaland state or development their principal pursuits.

Formed in 2004, the GRC has made the merger of Darjeeling with Sikkim its sole issue, and has taken up this demand with the Centre over the years. “We will field candidates from the Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Siliguri assembly constituencies,” said GRC convener Subodh Pakhrin. “Our election agenda will remain the merger of Darjeeling with Sikkim as the Darjeeling hills were never a part of Bengal. We believe a merger to be the only plausible solution for the Darjeeling hills.”
Aiming to strike a chord with the popular imagination in the hills, the GRC also intends to make the merger issue a ‘demonstrative’ movement. “Bengal cannot give a Gorkhaland state because Darjeeling was never its part. Therefore, if we win we will go to the Sikkim assembly instead of Bengal. In a way this election will be a demonstrative one for us,” Pakhrin said.
Gorkha Rashtriya Congress to field candidates with ‪Darjeeling‬-‪Sikkim‬ merger issue as agenda
Gorkha Rashtriya Congress to field candidates with ‪Darjeeling‬-‪Sikkim‬ merger issue as agenda
It may be mentioned here that Darjeeling was gifted to the British by the Rajah of Sikkim on February 1, 1835 by executing a Deed of Grant. Meanwhile, the names of the four GRC candidates announced today are that of Ashok Kumar Lepcha (68) from Darjeeling, who is the working president of the party; Dhurba Dewan (47), the GRC assistant secretary who will contest from Kurseong, general secretary Amar Lucksom (69) from Kalimpong; and Rabindra Rai (36) from Siliguri constituency. Rai is an executive member of the GRC.

Arguing in favour of the merger issue, GRC working president Lepcha said, “Till now 27 MLAs from the hills and 15 from Siliguri have been sent to the Vidhan Sabha. But the problems plaguing the hills have yet to be addressed or solved. We believe the West Bengal state assembly can fulfill nothing for us. There are several methods of opposing and hence we have decided that even if we go on to win, we will neither sit in Bengal’s Vidhan Sabha nor take from it our salaries and pensions. We will disclose later as to how we plan to sit in the Sikkim assembly.”

The GRC will be contesting for the first time in the state Assembly election. The party had fielded a candidate in the Lok Sabha election in 2014, though.


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.


"I am not anti-Gorkhaland" - says TMC candidate Shanta Chettri

9:47 AM
"I am not anti-Gorkhaland... I have raised the demand for Gorkhaland in Bengal legislative assembly... there is a record of that, anyone can verify.... I was labelled as anti-Gorkhaland while I was still an MLA... they burned down my house... and they made my life difficult... but I didn't give up... I am here to serve my people..." with these phrases TMC candidate from Kurseong constituency Ms. Shanta Chettri tried to find an emotional connect with the people in Mirik.

Addressing a press conference, Ms. Chettri stated that, "I am contesting this election for good governance, development and people under the able leadership of Ms. Mamata Banerjee... unlike those who preach Gorkhaland, and yet haven't done one thing to achieve it and are running the hills in a dictatorial fashion... I am commited to ushering in development in our region..."
TMC candidate Shanta Chettri
TMC candidate Shanta Chettri
Ms. Chettri later met with TMC workers in Mirik and exuded confidence that she would win comfortable from her seat.

Via TheDC

GJM leaders off to New Delhi to meet BJP, seeks Gorkha candidates in Assam

8:12 AM
Darjeeling, March 9: Senior Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders today left for New Delhi for a possible meeting with the BJP to discuss the election strategy in Bengal and request the national party to field Gorkha candidates in nearly 10 seats in Assam.

However, Roshan Giri and Binay Tamang, the general secretary and the assistant secretary of the Morcha, respectively, said they were going to Delhi to attend the World Cultural Festival organised by The Art of Living Foundation from March 11 to 13.

"We had been invited to the festival but since Bimal Gurung is unable to go to Delhi, I, along with our party leader Binay Tamang, are leaving for Delhi," said Giri.

But sources in the Morcha said the two leaders would discuss the Assembly elections in Bengal as well as in Assam.

"There are chances of the two also holding a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah. Since the Morcha is an ally of the BJP, the party wants to hold a discussion before announcing its candidates in Bengal. The two leaders have been told that they should convince the BJP leadership about the need for all opposition parties coming together in Bengal to take on Trinamul," said a source in the party.
Roshan Giri and Binay Tamang
Roshan Giri and Binay Tamang
Giri and Tamang will also be discussing Assam elections. "In the Assam elections, we want the BJP to field Gorkha candidates in at least nine seats. We want them to contest on BJP tickets," said the source.

Bimal Gurung, the Morcha president, today said in Darjeeling that they were confident that John Barla, the adivasi leader in the Dooars, would be fielded by the BJP in Nagrakatta Assembly seat in Jalpaiguri district.

"We have decided to support John Barla in Nagrakatta," said Gurung.

The Morcha also announced Haji Answar Ahmed Khan as the party's candidate in Chopra constituency in North Dinajpur district. "Since Morcha supporters wanted his candidature, we have decided to field him," said Gurung.

Khan is from Kurseong and a member of the Morcha's central committee.

Sources said the Morcha would be announcing the names of other candidates only after discussions with the BJP leadership.

"Apart from three hill seats, the party is looking at either fielding or supporting candidates in at least five or more seats in the plains," said the source.


Winning hills TMC candidate would be made a minister

10:50 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, March 7: The Trinamul Congress today said at least one of the party's winning candidates from the hills would be made a minister.

Rajen Mukhia, president of Trinamul (Hills), who held a meeting with party office bearers here today, said: "There will be lot of development in the hills after Trinamul wins the polls. One of the winning candidates will be a minister."

Two Trinamul candidates, Shanta Chhetri (Kurseong) and Sharda Rai Subba (Darjeeling), attended the meet. Harka Bahadur Chhetri had been named as the Kalimpong candidate but the MLA has said he would contest as a Jan Andolan Party candidate.
TMC candidates from the hills are Shanta Chettri from Kurseong, Sharda Rai Subba from Darjeeling and Dr. Harka Chettri is from Kalimpong. However, Dr. Chettri will contest the election as a JAP candidate not TMC.
TMC candidates from the hills are Shanta Chettri from Kurseong, Sharda Rai Subba from Darjeeling and Dr. Harka Chettri is from Kalimpong. However, Dr. Chettri will contest the election as a JAP candidate not TMC.
Pic via DT

Mukhia said: "Shanta Chhetri, a three-time MLA, is an experienced candidate. Sharda Subba is a new face. People in the hills want change and we are hopeful that the people will bring a change this time." He said the party's main plank would be good governance, peace and development.

Mamata Banerjee to campaign in Kurseong on March 15 for Assembly polls

10:04 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, March 6: The hill unit of the Trinamul Congress today said Mamata Banerjee would hold a public meeting in Kurseong on March 15 betraying the party's hope that it could pose a major challenge to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the Assembly polls on the back of the launch of development boards for different communities.

Binny Sharma, general secretary, Darjeeling (hill) Trinamul, said: "Our leader, Miss Mamata Banerjee, will be addressing a public meeting in Kurseong on March 15. Although the venue has not been fixed, it will most probably be held at Monteviot ground."

Trinamul sources in Calcutta couldn't confirm if Mamata would speak in Kurseong, but said she was likely to kick off her election campaign from the hills.
Mamata Banerjee to campaign in Kurseong on March 15 for Assembly polls
Mamata Banerjee in Kalimpong - a file photo
Shanta Chhetri, who had been elected to the Assembly three times on GNLF ticket, was fielded by Trinamul in the Kurseong seat. Sarda Rai Subba and Harka Bahadur Chhetri have been fielded by the party in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, respectively, though confusion prevails over the latter's candidature. Elections will be held to the three hill Assembly segments on April 17.

Sharma said Mamata was also expected to campaign for a day in Siliguri on March 14.

Sources in Trinamul said Mamata was confident that Trinamul would put up a strong fight in the three seats. "The confidence stems from the fact that she has formed separate development boards for many hill communities and she expects their support for Trinamul candidates," a Trinamul leader said on condition of anonymity.

So far, development boards have been formed for Lepchas, Tamangs, Sherpas, Bhutias and Mangars. The chief minister has announced development boards for the Limbus and Rais as well, but they have not been formed yet. These communities together make up over 50 per cent of the hill population.

The elections, observers believe, will show if political benefits will accrue to Trinamul from the boards. "This is the elections where it will be clear whether Mamata's development boards have managed to win the hearts of the hill people," said an observer.

The Morcha, on the other hand, has been alleging that the boards were formed with an intention to divide and rule the hill population.

Shanta Chhetri who had joined Mamata's party on February 22, 2014, said she would not speak against anyone in the campaign. "A week after my house had been burnt down by Morcha activists on February 18, 2010, my husband died and people were not allowed to attend the funeral. I have gone through the worst. Yet, I will not speak against anyone in the election campaign," she said.


Cannot Compromise on ‪‎Gorkhaland‬ - JAP leader Bhawani Pradhan after resignation

1:31 PM
"My Conscience Doesn't Permit Me to Compromise on Gorkhaland Demand" - JAP leader Bhawani Pradhan after resignation

An ardent supporter of Dr. Mahendra P Lama and long time associate with DDUDF and Kurseong Sub-division Convener of Jan Andolan Party Mr. Bhawani Pradhan has resigned from the party citing differences of principals.

Mr. Bhawani Pradhan who was one of the earliest supporters of Dr. Mahendra P Lama during his bid for 2014 MP elections, said "I am an ordinary individual, who wanted an educated and community loving leader to lead our Darjeeling... I was long time Secretary of DDUDF and I have worked in nooks and corners of Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars... when Dr. Lama contested in 2014, I was so hopeful of him, that I even sold my land, which I bought to build my house on... to raise funds for his campaign... however today, I have come to realize that there is a fundamental difference between my principals and that of JAP.... hence I am resigning."

When asked to explain on the differences, Mr. Pradhan said, "My one and only interest is Gorkhaland statehood... yes we want development, but a separate state for the Gorkhas is a necessity... Development is our right, and for that we don't have to rely on anyone's benevolence... I strongly feel that we should not stake the safety and security of our community which can be derived from a separate state, and seek to exchange it for development..."
Jan Andolan Party
 Jan Andolan Party
He added, "Those friends who are today clamouring for development say that we cannot have a revolution on hungry stomach... I just want them to know that revolutions all over the world have in fact been led by those who are hungry and deprived...."

Making his stand on Gorkhaland issue clear, Mr. Pradhan said, "Bengal-centric development will never help the Gorkhas, and may be Bengal led development may make us prosperous, however, I am certain, it will never make us happy... Development is our right and it is not a charity which can only be arrived at if we work as Bengal dictates...."

One can almost feel the personal agony that Mr. Pradhan must have gone through, as he added... "You [Bengal] won't give us development? then don't... even I won't give my self-respect... I won't give up my self-respect... rather I would give in my resignation...."

Mr. Pradhan said he is not doing this to attain some selfish goals, he clarified "I won't join any other party."

Via TheDC

JAP's first meeting in Darjeeling decides to hold dharna for Land Rights for Tea and Cinchona Workers

10:03 PM
Vivek Chhetri

The Jan Andolan Party today held its first meeting in Darjeeling and decided to organise dharnas across the hills to demand land rights for tea garden and cinchona plantation workers.

Most of the 87 tea gardens in the hills are in Darjeeling and Kurseong subdivisions. The issue of land rights is likely to touch the majority of the people in the two subdivisions as tea garden workers, who comprise more than 70 percent of the population in the two subdivisions, do not have any right over the land where they have been living for generations.

Amar Lama, a member of the JAP's bureau, said today: "During the meeting, it was decided that dharnas would be organised to demand land rights as this is an important issue for our people living in tea gardens and cinchona plantations. Even though we plan to hold the dharnas soon, the date and venues will be announced later."
Jan Andolan Party today held its first meeting in Darjeeling
During the meeting, the JAP, launched by Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri in January, formed an ad hoc committee of the Darjeeling subdivision. Salim Tamang has been appointed as the convener of the subdivisional committee, while Pranay Rana has been made the convener of the party's subdivisional youth wing.

"Various GTA constituency-level committees have already been created. Trade union units have also been formed at Liza Hill, Rangmook, Cedar and Ging tea gardens," said Lama.

The bureau member said the party had decided not to impose decision from the top. "We are empowering respective committees to take their own decision. For example, the subdivisional committee will not interfere in the formation of constituency committees," said Lama.

The various committees have also been asked to start membership drive across the hills. "We are also launching a signature campaign on granting land rights. We want to collect at least 1 lakh signatures in the campaign," said Lama.

Simultaneously, JAP leaders have started visiting different places in the hills to hear the grievances of the public. "We have started the drive in Kalimpong subdivision and are launching the same in Darjeeling and Kurseong subdivisions soon," said Lama.

Mahendra P. Lama, the chairman of the bureau, when asked about the coming elections, said: "Our party will be contesting the elections."

The JAP is also looking at opening an office in Darjeeling town. "We have recently opened a contact office at Ghoom and are looking at opening a party office in the town soon," Amar Lama said.

Source: Telegraph

Massive Fire Destroys Historic Dowhill, School in ‪‎Kurseong

8:55 AM

‬Dowhill school which is one of the oldest schools not only in Kurseong, but all of West Bengal and by extension India was started in August 1879, with a first batch of 16 children.
Yesterday a huge portion of this history and heritage got gutted down due to a massive fire, which took over 6 hours to control.

Fire-tenders from Kurseong, Darjeeling and Siliguri had to rush in to help control the blaze.

Thankfully since winter holidays are on, there were no students around. In particular, the junior dormitory has been completely burned down.

fire has destroyed the junior dorm section of Dowhill School in Kurseong.
While fire tenders have rushed to the site, it is still unclear what caused the fire.

Via TheDC

New Movie 'Hawaghar' on Gorkhaland‬ Agitation

8:22 PM
New Movie 'Hawaghar' - Seeks to Tell the ‪‎Gorkhaland‬ Tale

We too have our stories to tell, like every society has its own.

These stories stand tall, deeply rooted with the hills and valleys, joys and sorrows, soils and flowers as a foundation to the way of life for generations to come. Realising the fact that our stories are not documented enough, through popular and efficient medium and feeling that the responsibility now rests over the shoulders of this generation, the youths from Mirik, Kurseong and Darjeeling are coming up with a feature film 'Hawaghar'.

The film has its plot in a typical village of Darjeeling while the time period goes back to 1980s, when the hill was burning with Gorkhaland Andolan. The sole intention is to recreate, reflect and dramatically document the social, cultural, and economic impact of the revolution among the Gorkha lives and livelihood. 'Hawaghar' is not aligned politcally or ideologically towards any group or party that existed during that time, not out of fear or indifference but realising the need for neutrality to tell the story as accurately as possible. Rather, the viewers can expect a raw and rooted love story at its core, that had no time for love, due to chaos and struggle.

The film is directed by Kushal Ghimiray, who has already acted in a feature film 'Dhurva Taara' which was released last year. He is a lecturer in Southfield College, Darjeeling and has left his mark as a Nepali writer and dramatist with numerous works at his credit.

Hawaghar is co-directed and editing and cinmatography as well is done by Pallawib Rai. He has already worked as cinematographer, editor and associate director for music albums of 2015 Grammy Award winners Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman one of which was recently launched at United Nations COP21 (Paris) by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and President of France François Hollande. He was previously working for startups and in Mumbai and this is his third feature film as a part of cinematography team.

The lead role of the film is played by Kushal Ghimiray himself and Mansha Gurung, who have already rocked the screens as a lead couple around the hills with their film 'Dhurva Taara'. The other roles are being played by Dalleybhai Lepcha, Nasir Gurung, Bhawesh Lama, Naumta Pradhan, Hanak Thapa, Pushkar Singer, Sahil Lepcha, Pradeep Subba and Subeksha Rasaili some of whom have already acted in stage plays while some are freshers.

The story, screenplay and dialoue of film is created by Kushal Ghimiray and Pallawib Rai. Towards the technical side, the role of Chief Assistant Director is carried out by Utsav Pradhan while the cinematography team has extremely talented Abimanu Chettri and Benjamin Rai as associate Cinematographers with their rich experience of working for various production companies in Mumbai.

Fingers crossed!!! Hope they will be able to tell us our story.

Via TheDC

Three Minor Girls From ‪‎Kurseong‬, Rescued in Kolkata

Three minor girls were rescued from the port area of the city today after they went missing from their Kurseong home in Darjeeling district, police said today.

The three were rescued after a tip off from an NGO and were spotted Mallikghat Flower Market area.

The girls have been handed over to representatives of the NGO till the arrival of Kurseong Police, police said adding that a case under IPC section 363 (Punishment for kidnapping) against unknown people have been registered.

"We are looking into the incident to check into whether the girls were kidnapped or not. We are talking to the trio and trying to track into how they reached the city," the investigating officer of Kolkata Police said.

Three Minor Girls From ‪‎Kurseong‬, Rescued in Kolkata


Harka Bahadur's "anti-National" Comment a Political Stunt

10:01 AM
Writes: Vikram Rai

Harka Bahadur Chettri's contention Bimal Gurung's speech on the 27th is "anti-national" shows how baffled he is after the Maha Jansabha by GJM at Kalimpong.

What is the criteria for being branded as "anti-national"? Has this been defined or categorically stated in our Constitution?

Yes , we read and hear of various people/organisations/ institutions etc being declared as "anti-national". For instance, those who burn and disrespect the national flag; those who disrespect the national anthem and the national symbols; those who declare a war against the state; those who commit acts of terrorism etc. But does exercising your Fundamental Right to Freedom of Speech qualify a person to be branded as an "anti-national"?

I would like to bring to light the Information Document, published by the Government of West Bengal in 1986, where in it's introduction, it is stated that the Gorkha Land Movement "is anti-national and seccessionist". The same Document justifies the accusation by publishing the Memorandum sent by Subash Ghissing to the King of Nepal. copies of which were sent to the King of Bhutan, Queen of England, all Presidents and PMs of all countries and even to the UN. To substantiate it's claim, the Document also published the speech of Subash Ghissing at Kurseong on 2.6.1985. Our question to Harka Bahadur Chettri is that has  Bimal Gurung gone to that extent ? So on what basis can Harka Bahadur Chettri request the Central Govt. to take a serious note of this?
Harka Bahadur's "anti-National" Comment a Political Stunt
Harka Bahadur Chettri and Bimal Gurung
Bimal Gurung's speech of the 27th was a simple query on the Historical status of Kalimpong, which needs to be clarified so that it's District status, which was declared by the State Govt. and which initially demanded by the GJM and welcomed by the GJM, is not subjected to any controversy later. His mention of the word "international" is but logical, keeping in mind, the link with Bhutan, a Sovereign State.

So, Harka Bahadur Chettri's claim smacks of political immaturity. In the context of the present political senerio, it is nothing but a political stunt.

Via TheDC

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