Fledgling Gorkha party wins GTA polls in Darjeeling

  • | Wednesday | 29th June, 2022

Kolkata, Jun 29 (PTI) The nine-month-old Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) emerged as the largest single party in elections to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in the Darjeeling hills, winning 27 out of 45 seats, officials said.The BGPM, led by former GTA chairman Anit Thapa, is a breakaway faction of the Bimal Gurung-led Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) which had boycotted the GTA polls held after a decade in the hills.Another newly floated outfit, Hamro Party, and the Trinamool Congress bagged eight and five seats respectively, while five independent candidates emerged victorious in the GTA polls, the officials said.This is for the first time that the TMC won seats in the GTA, a semi-autonomous council that governs the Darjeeling hills."The BGPM has won 27 seats. The Hamro Party bagged eight. The TMC has secured five seats. Five independents have also won the election," an official said.Polls to the GTA were held on Sunday, after a decade marked by a series of changes in the region"s political dynamics.In September last year, Thapa formed the BGPM. He shared a cordial relationship with the TMC, the ruling party of West Bengal.Unlike the GJM and the GNLF, he has moved away from the warpath with the TMC government over a separate Gorkhaland state and rather focused on the issue of the basic development of the hills, such as education, health, clean drinking water and employment."The people of the hills want development. We all have to work towards ensuring overall development of the hills," Thapa, whose party had contested 36 seats, said.The election to GTA is important as whoever controls it gets the upper hand in the hill politics.Reacting to the poll results, the Hamro Party, which had won the Darjeeling Municipality a few months back, said it would play the role of a responsible opposition in the GTA."The people of the hills have given a mandate. We accept it with all humility," Hamro Party chief Ajoy Edwards said.The TMC"s Binay Tamang, who is one of the victorious candidates in GTA polls, said that the party would continue to work for the development of the hills.The TMC contested 10 seats.Reacting to the poll results, GJM supremo Bimal Gurung claimed that the poll results do not reflect the aspirations of the people of the hills."The GTA doesn"t have any autonomy," he said.The GJM swept the first GTA polls in 2012, winning all the seats. Elections could not be held in 2017 due to a violent statehood agitation, with a state-appointed administrative body taking over the reins of the council.The GJM, BJP and the GNLF boycotted the polls held on Sunday.Counting started in nine seats of the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (sub-divisional council), 22 panchayats, and four panchayat samitis at 8 am."The TMC has won the maximum number of seats in Panchayat samitis and is leading in the Mahakuma Parishad," the official said.Votes in by-elections held in six wards of six municipalities of the state were also counted during the day. Of them, the TMC won four, whereas the Congress and the CPI(M) bagged one each.The Congress retained ward number 2 of Jhalda Municipality in Purulia district, winning it by a margin of 778 votes, whereas the Trinamool Congress won ward number 8 of Panihati Municipality in North 24 Parganas district.By-polls were conducted in ward number 2 of Jhalda Municipality where sitting Congress councillor Tapan Kandu was shot dead in March, and ward number 8 of Panihati Municipality in North 24 Parganas district, where TMC councillor Anupam Dutta was gunned down also in that month.Mithun Kandu, the nephew of Tapan, was a Congress candidate in Jhalda, whereas Anupam"s wife, Meenakshi, was the TMC candidate from Panihati.The CPI(M) wrested ward number 16 of Chandannagar Municipality after over three decades as its candidate Ashok Gangopadhyay won by a margin of 130 votes. PTI PNT NN NN

If You Like This Story, Support NYOOOZ



Your support to NYOOOZ will help us to continue create and publish news for and from smaller cities, which also need equal voice as much as citizens living in bigger cities have through mainstream media organizations.

Stay updated with all the Kolkata Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

Related Articles