GJM gains control over Gorkhaland before polls

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on July 12, 2012

Upper hand: Mr Bimal Gurung is the President of the Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha, a dominant political outfit in the Darjeeling Hills.

CPI-M candidates pull out seventeen days before elections

Seventeen days before the elections, the Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has gained control over the autonomous hill body — the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration — uncontested.

GJM, a dominant political outfit in the Darjeeling hills, has obtained 28 seats out of the 45 seats to the GTA.

GTA is an autonomous body to look after the administration of the hills. GTA elections are scheduled to take place on June 29.

The victory of GJM was ensured on Thursday after 13 Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) candidates withdrew from the elections. The candidates withdrew alleging that they were being threatened by GJM party workers.

While seven of the CPI-M contestants withdrew on Wednesday, the remaining six pulled out Thursday. The Left Front had earlier announced that it would contest 22 seats but could field on 13 candidates.

The State's ruling Trinamool Congress which had put up candidates in 18 seats had withdrawn from one.

Significantly, other political parties of the hills like GNLF, CPRM and ABGL, boycotted the election earlier, claiming the situation in Darjeeling is “not conducive and democratic” to hold an election.

Another mainstream party, Congress who also has some presence in the hills also boycotted the election claiming lack of democracy in the region.

The district administration will now hold elections in only 17 seats following the withdrawal of several candidates that include number of independent.

Till Wednesday, 31 candidates had withdrawn their nominations.

The 17 seats where there will be an election on July 29 includes nine seats in Kalimpong, four seats in Darjeeling and four seats in Kurseong.

TMC versus GJM

Incidentally, in the 17 seats to be contested, there would be one on one fight between two allies, the GJM and ruling Trinamool Congress.

The Trinamool Congress had during the 2011 Assembly elections partnered the GJM to gain control of the hills.

The GJM will hold a victory rally in Darjeeling tomorrow.

Published on July 12, 2012
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