GJM president Bimal Gurung said in a Facebook post that he would leave for Delhi with party central committee members Binay Tamang, Anit Thapa and Raju Pradhan to talk to all national leaders and parties.
Mr Gurung claimed that GJM’s support would be the deciding factor not only in the Darjeeling parliamentary seat, but also in the Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar Lok Sabha seats.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the GJM had supported senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh for the Darjeeling seat, who subsequently won with a handsome margin.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, while declaring candidates for the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, had announced that footballer Bhaichung Bhutia would be the party candidate for the Darjeeling seat.
Kolkata: Claiming Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee was forced to nominate films stars, singers and footballers as Lok Sabha election candidates as she was losing control of her party, West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury Friday said the leaders who fought for years against the Left's rule have been ignored.
In an apparent reference to Trinamool national general secretary Mukul Roy, Chowdhury said "the political control of Trinamool was now getting concentrated in the hands of a general secretary. Banerjee is losing her grip.
"It is for this reason that Banerjee has had to turn to films stars, sportsmen and singers. The candidates she has announced are reflective of her losing political control," said Chowdhury, also the minister for state for railways.
"I think this is also the reason she has decided to field her nephew Abhishek Bandopadhyay for the polls," he said.
Chowdhury wondered why the Trinamool was ignoring its time-tested leaders who spent decades "fighting the Left Front when it was in power".
"Why is the Trinamool suddenly feeling the dearth of political personalities? Why are those leaders who struggled against the Left, got beaten up, but still fought, now being ignored? Who are these people who have emerged into the political world from the cine world?"
Averring that matinee idols and singers have failed to exert any influence in the state's politics so far, he said "it smacks off a political crisis."
Chowdhury said while the Congress too fielded non-political persons including cultural personalities in elections, "we never opted to nominate so many at the same time".
Reigning Bengali matinee idol Dev, film personalities Moon Moon Sen, Sandhya Roy, Tapas Pal and Satabdi Roy, former Indian soccer skippersBhaichung Bhutia and Prasun Banerjee, singers Indranil Sen and Soumitra Roy, and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's grand nephew Sugata Bose figure in the list of Trinamool Congress candidates announced by Banerjee here Wednesday.
DARJEELING: The first press conference of Baichung Bhutia, Trinamool Congress' Darjeeling candidate for Lok Sabha polls, turned chaotic on Friday with the party's leaders in the Hills voicing their dissent over any possibility of allying with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).
Everything was under control when North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb addressed the media. But things turned chaotic the moment Baichung addressed GJM president Bimal Gurung as 'daju' (brother) and talked about the good relation they shared and a possible alliance for LS polls. Rajen Tamang, Trinamool's district committee vice-president and the subdivisional president, interrupted the briefing and shouted: "Bhayena yo ramro bhayena, hami morcha sanga mildaimildiuna" (Not good, this is not good, we will never tie up with the GJM).
Tamang went on to say that party activists had to face stiff obstacles to maintain a base in the Hills. "We have been intimidated and even roughed up by GJM supporters. We will never negotiate or tie up with the GJM. Whatever the outcome may be, we will go alone in the election," he asserted with party comrades by his side.
Baichung tried to pacify the leaders saying Trinamool would contest alone in the Hills but would welcome GJM's support. "We are ready at the grass-root level and are confident of winning the election by a handsome margin. However, if GJM supports me then it will be welcomed," said the former footballer, amid the sloganeering supporters gathered at the Tourist Lodge in Darjeeling.
Before the chaos set in, the former footballer pointed to the good relation he shared with Gurung and also his wish to contest the election together. "I personally want the GJM to support me. I share a good relation with 'Bimal daju' and want to fight the election jointly," Baichung said.
On Thursday, the GJM president had said he was disappointed with Baichung for not caring about the good relation they shared. He had also said his party would not support Baichung, as Trinamool had failed to consult him before announcing the name.
When asked to lay out his election agenda for the Hills, the MP aspirant said, "Our party president has already said that Darjeeling needs development. I know that Darjeeling has been neglected and ignored because of which it has witnessed agitations. I feel ushering development will bring peace and stability here which is what everyone wants," said Baichung.
Minister Deb said Baichung was the best possible candidate for the Darjeeling Parliamentary constituency and that Friday's meeting was the first interaction with supporters from the Hills. "Today, we met our party workers from the Hills including district committee members and discussed strategies that need to be adopted for the LS election. We also exchanged views and suggestions, as we cannot afford to waste time," he said.
Hills Trinamool supporters gathered in numbers to interact with Baichung were left disappointed, as the latter along with minister Deb had to rush down to Siliguri to catch a flight to Kolkata to attend the MP candidates' meeting with chief minister Mamata Banerjee.(TOI)
A day after former Indian Soccer skipper Bhaichung Bhutia was announced as a can- didate for the Darjeeling seat, party workers of the Trinamool Congress in the hills dissatisfied over the decision said they had. Bhaichung interestingly has not touched upon the issue so far after being chosen as the candidate for the seat. Anti-GJM parties like the Akhil Bharitiya Gorkha League (ABGL) nevertheless has pointed out that the Trinamool’s decision to field Bhaichung has exposed the TMC hill unit’s importance simultaneously also making realize the fact that there was no able person among the six so that the TMC high command could think over it. “If they (Hill TMC leaders) believe in ethics, they should resign from the TMC and work towards people’s aspiration,” said Pratap Khati, the ABGL general secretary been expecting a candidate who is the ‘son of the soil’ for the prestigious seat. The hill unit of the Trinamool, that gained prominence amidst the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) lead ‘Gorkhaland’ agitation,also said they had sent a list of six probable candidates to the party high command in Kolkata for fielding its candidate for the seat. “We wanted a candidate who is the son of the soil for the Darjeeling. The decision of the party has baffled us and left the entire unit in dismay,” said a Kalimpong based TMC leader. Trinamool’s choice for Bhaichung according to observers is set to make less impact to the voters.An observer wishing not to be named said that the Darjeeling hills is reeling with a sensitive issue visa-vis the demand for separate state of Gorkhaland which Bhaichung on TMC’s banner cannot address at any cost. “The people of the hills as well as the political parties in Darjeeling want their representative to speak for the demand at the highest level. It is a known fact that the Trinamool is against the demand and will never support the demand for separate state. At such a situation Bhaichung’s candidature for the seat may get less support from the people as well as the outfits. Bhaichung is better respected as a footballer from the region not a politician who could be only a puppet of the Trinamool Congress,” said the analyst.
KOLKATA: Five commandments and an instruction, laced with a stimulating pep talk. Two days after she announced an impressive list of candidates with a generous smattering of glamour, Mamata Banerjee on Friday held forth the rules of election battle to her poll soldiers. And the message was loud and clear - stick to the dictates without being too adventurous.
On Friday evening, the crammed Harish Chatterjee Street turned into a star-gazing alley as hundreds descended to catch a glimpse of the VIP candidates. All of the Lok Sabha aspirants were present barring screen heartthrob Dev and historian Sugata Bose. The likes of Moon Moon Sen, Tapas Pal, Satabdi Ray and Baichung Bhutia drew loud gasps from the crowd. Many were left disappointed with Dev's absence from the meeting. The star's mother was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai.
But behind the closed doors at chief minister's Kalighat residence, it was serious business. Mamata made it clear to her election team - that includes an unprecedented 27 first-time contenders - that their reputation wasn't enough to sail them through. They must stick to a list of five important guidelines, candidates were told all along the one-and-a-half-hour meeting. Logistics of every contest will be decided and controlled by the party. Candidates must abide by them and work in coordination with either the district party president or the convenor. No off-the-cuff remarks, which could embarrass the party, will be allowed. Contestants were asked to remember that Trinamool is a poor people's party. So, contestants must maintain a low-profile and meet as many people as they possibly could in the run-up to the polls.
With summer setting in, candidates should start their campaign early in the day, return to their bases for a longish afternoon break and take to the streets again once the sun has set. The guidelines were followed by a task that has been given to each candidate. They must memorize a list of the work done by the party in the last two-and-half years and spell them out at as many public meetings as they can.
The idea of holding the session was to give the political greenhorns a taste of ground reality, said Trinamool insiders. It was felt necessary since the candidate list looked raw and inexperienced. Several political heavyweights were ignored in the districts in favour of star candidates. "The purpose of the meeting was to build coordination between candidates and the party leadership at the district-level," said Satabdi Roy. Asked if she was in touch with Birbhum district president Anubrata Mandal, the actor maintained that they had regular interactions. "Even today, I spoke to him," she said.
Baichung Bhutia said that he planned to meet Bimal Guring in Darjeeling, the constituency from where he is contesting. "I hope he will support us for the sake of Darjeeling and the hills," said the former footballer. In a meeting in Darjeeling earlier in the day, he faced wrath of party workers in the Hills for "inviting" Gurung for a possible alliance.
Meanwhile, Trinamool has decided to send observers to constituencies from where the party has never won but stands a realistic chance this time. An observer will be sent to Darjeeling as well.(TOI)
“It has come to our attention that Balaji Micro Bank (website: balajiquasibank.in) is misusing/misrepresenting the name of NABARD and is mopping up deposits - recurring deposits, fixed deposits, monthly income schemes from individuals. It is clarified that NABARD does not collect deposits from general public and has not appointed any agent for the purpose. NABARD does not have links with the above institution and has not authorized it to do any work on its behalf.
It is, therefore, clarified that, NABARD shall not be responsible in any manner whatsoever for any such transactions by the general public.”