Polling in six parliamentary constituencies in West Bengal tomorrow

Polling in six parliamentary constituencies in West Bengal tomorrow
Kolkata, Apr 23 : Polling will be held to six parliamentary constituencies in West Bengal in the General Elections to Lok Sabha 2014 on Thursday.

This is a second poll day in West Bengal (sixth poll day in the country) when a total electorate of more than eighty-three lakhs twenty thousand in the six constituencies namely 5- Raiganj, 6 - Balurghat, 7- Maldaha Uttar, 8 - Maladaha Dakshin, 9 - Jangipur and 11 - Murshidabad are to exercise their franchise.

As many as 9755 polling stations have been set up and 1294 EVMs would be used for Thursday's polling.

Voting will take place between 7 am to 6 pm.

There are altogether 78 candidates in the fray.

The maximum number of candidates (17) is contesting from Maldaha Dakshin while the minimum number of candidates (11) is in Jangipur.

There are 12 candidates each in Rajganj, Balurghat and Murshidabad and 14 in Maldaha Uttar.

There are 2 women candidates in the fray from Maldaha Uttar and one each from Rajganj and Balurghat.

Of the recognized national and state parties, BJP, BS , INC and AITC are contesting in all the 6 constituencies while CPI(M) has fielded candidates in 5 constituencies and RSP in 1.

There are 40 candidates of the registered political parties (other than the recognized national and state parties) are in the fray.

As many as 8 Independent candidates are also contesting from the 6 constituencies.

It may be mentioned that 4 parliamentary constituencies in West Bengal namely Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduars and Darjeeling went to the polls on the first poll day of in the state (fifth poll day in the country) on last Thursday (Apr 17).


15 newborn babies die in North Bengal Medical College and Hospital at Siliguri

15 newborn babies die in North Bengal Medical College and Hospital at Siliguri
Darjeeling:  Fifteen newborn babies have died in the state-run North Bengal Medical College and Hospital at Siliguri in the district since Monday, hospital superintendent Dr Amerendra Nath Sarker said on Tuesday.

Low weight during birth, infection and some other reasons were there behind the unfortunate incident, Sarker said. "Around 100-150 babies were admitted daily in critical condition," he said.

North Bengal Development Minister Goutam Deb said if anyone was found guilty for the death of the babies, action would be taken against them.(PTI)

Darjeeling Solution through discussion: Narendra Modi

BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Tuesday said the "solution" to the Darjeeling issue would be found through discussion.
Asked about the formation of Gorkhaland by carving out Darjeeling Hills from West Bengal, Modi told ABP News in an interview: "We cannot look away from the regional aspirations of the people. It is not right to suppress their regional aspirations."
"I am sympathetic to the needs of the people and I understand it. I think discussion is the only way to find a solution," he added.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has opposed the division of the state, but the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has been demanding a separate Gorkhaland state. (IANS)

Sure Mamata Banerjee Will Not Join NDA: Modi

The BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today said he was sure the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee would not join the NDA but said "more than anger against her", he was disappointed that she had "failed" to bring West Bengal out of the "mess" created by the 34-year-long Left Front rule.

"We are sure that Mamataji won't join us (NDA), we have no confusion about it nor have we any apprehension about it," Modi said at an interview with news channel ABP Ananda.

He said this when asked whether his attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was a fallout of the BJP's failure to bring her party, the Trinamool Congress, to the NDA-fold.

The Gujarat chief minister, however, said he hoped that Banerjee would be able to bring West Bengal out of the "mess created by the Left" as she had got sufficient time.

"Mamataji has got sufficient time to bring Bengal out of the mess created by the Left. But there are no such symptoms. So more than anger, I am disappointed with Mamataji," he said.

At a rally earlier this month in Siliguri, Modi had launched a scathing attack on Banerjee for allegedly indulging in vote-bank politics, drawing a sharp retort from the Trinamool Congress, which alleged he had "blood on his hands".

Asked about the BJP's stand on the issue of a separate Gorkhaland state in the Darjeeling hills, Modi said "in this big country, if you try to dominate the regional aspirations by hitting on the wounds, then those wounds will increase. Sympathetically, you have to understand each and everyone's emotions, try to make them understand what way out can be reached through dialogues".

On whether there should be a CBI inquiry into the Saradha chit fund scam, Modi said "Look, in this chit fund scam, a lot of poor people have lost their money. There were a few people who even went to the verge of committing suicide."

"In such a situation, a step needs to be taken on which people have trust. Now what will be that form, that's a different issue. But steps need to be taken on which people can have confidence". (http://news.outlookindia.com)

Support to BJP should not affect GTA state govt relations - Bimal Gurung

Bimal Gurung in Kalimpong
GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung today said he believes the rift created between the GJM and TMC during the general elections will have no adverse effect on the GTA-state government relationship. Speaking to journalists here, Gurung downplayed the possibility about the GJM’s decision to support the BJP disrupting ties with the TMC government, saying the latter should not take the matter “seriously”. 
“This election was meant to elect 543 MPs from across the country to form the central government. Had it been the GTA or state Assembly elections, it would have been necessary to speak with the state government,” he said.
In his bid to restore the GJM-TMC bonhomie, Gurung said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should not be irked by the Morcha’s decision to back the BJP. He added if his party’s decision has really affected GTA-state government relation, it would be better for Banerjee to “quit politics”.
A confident Gurung also said only 20-25 per cent of votes from the Darjeeling constituency has gone to other parties, while the remaining has dropped into the BJP’s bag. He further said the votes that have gone to rival parties are of those who are against statehood. The GJM chief also derided GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh for “utterly failing to comprehend the political situation in the hills”. While surprising the public with his decision to support the TMC, Ghisingh himself did not exercise his franchise. Even if the TMC, GNLF and DDUDF emerge as worthy opponents, the GJM will not give any weight to them, said Gurung dismissively. He said the GJM had swept the three hill sub-divisions in the last assembly elections and his party is least bothered by the so-called comeback of the GNLF.
The GJM chief also said the party will ensure panchayat elections are held in the Darjeeling hills after the election results are announced. Despite legal snags on whether the election is to be two-tiered or three-tiered, the GJM is in favour of holding panchayat elections as they have not been held for quite a while in the hills, he said. The party leadership is slated to discuss the issue during a meeting this Sunday.
Responding to a query, Gurung said the GTA has become an object that the GJM can neither happily settle with nor deny outright. Admitting the setup is not functioning in its full capacity, he asserted only a separate state of Gorkhaland can solve the myriad issues plaguing the Gorkhas.(EOIC)

Darjeeling-Dooars United Development Foundation(DDUDF) likely to take on political avatar

Mirik block DDUDF convener Tilak Rai
Residents of the Darjeeling hills are curious to know whether the apolitical Darjeeling-Dooars United Development Foundation will take a political form. DDUDF founder Dr. Mahendra P Lama contested the LS elections as an independent candidate and received full support of the CPRM, AIGL and BGP.
Lama, whose primary agenda is to achieve statehood, was criticised the most by the GJM during campaigning. Now, the poll results, due on May 16, will decide Lama’s future move, which could also mean a change in the structure of the DDUDF. It remains to be seen how Lama tackles his supporters and the organisation. Further, it is more difficult to forecast the DDUDF’s future prospects if Lama were to lose.
It may be recalled that during an election campaign meeting here, DDUDF spokesperson P Arjun had said the DDUDF will transform into a political party and will pursue the statehood movement after the polls.
On being asked for his comments on this, Mirik block DDUDF convener Tilak Rai said internal discussions are going on while hinting an announcement could come after the poll results are out. Clarifying that the DDUDF could likely take the shape of a political outfit, Rai said it will struggle for statehood with the support of the people.
Stressing that the foundation will fight tooth and nail against corruption, he said be it will press for transparency in development projects with both the GTA and the state government.
Rai said, “Even if the TMC or the BJP emerge victorious from Darjeeling, we will ensure proper work is done by the MP. Let the BJP or the Congress or even a Third Front come to power at the Centre, we will keep our struggle for a separate state of Gorkhaland alive as also the inclusion of the region in the North East Council.”
He also said the DDUDF will demand implementation of all central government schemes in the region.
The DDUDF convener also voiced strong resentment towards the recent rape incident in Manipur. He said the foundation stands by the Gorkhas of not only Manipur, but of all the northeastern states. Rai said the DDUDF has already dispatched letters to concerned authorities demanding a judicial probe into the matter. He thanked people for voting for Lama, while appealing to them to remain prepared for a new movement.(EOIC)

Dooars gjmm leaders to chalk out post-poll plans

Dooars gjmm leaders to chalk out post-poll plans

SS Ahluwalia  expected to emerge victorious in Darjeeling 

Siliguri, 22 April: Dooars-based Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) leaders who voted for BJP candidates in the Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri Lok Sabha seats are all set to chalk out new strategies on the inclusion of additional land for the Hill set-up once the poll results are out.
The leaders there are expecting that the GJMM-backed candidate, SS Ahluwalia, would emerge victorious in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency.
Though the former GJMM’s Dooars unit president, Padam Lama, who joined the Trinamul Congress last year, claimed that Dasrath Trikey will win the Alipurduar seat, two Dooars-based Morcha leaders said: “There is a contest between the BJP and the Left Front in both Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri seats.”
“People in the Dooars supported the Trinamul candidate Dasrath Tirkey,
following chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s development plans for the Dooars in the last 33 months,” Mr Lama said. GJMM leader Ashok Lama, however, said: “Many people, apart from their political identities, voted for the BJP candidate in Alipurduar in support of the Narendra Modi wave in north Bengal. We expect the BJP candidate contesting against the RSP candidate in Alipurduar to top the list. Trinamul may be in the third position.”
Asked to comment on their next plan of action, GJMM leader Mr Lama said: “We are confident that the GJMM-backed BJP candidate, Mr Ahluwalia, will win the Darjeeling LS seat. After the results, we will start demanding a separate state and inclusion of additional areas in it.” Another Malbazar-based GJMM leader, Binod Ghatani, said that they have worked for the BJP in Jalpaiguri LS seat. “Many LF supporters have extended support to the BJP candidate. We hope there is a contest between the BJP and the CPI-M candidate in Jalpaiguri,” he said.
“We are waiting for positive results in Darjeeling as well as the Centre, and we would start demanding a separate state and inclusion of additional land. We will formulate our next course of action after the election results,” he added.
Notably, several people there are worried about the GJMM’s success in the Hills and they apprehend that it would be difficult to restore peace in the plains, given the GJMM’s demands for inclusion of additional land from the Dooars for the Hill set-up. Transport operators, who ferry tourists from Siliguri to Darjeeling, also apprehend that there will be post-result violence in the Hills.(sns)

Facebook friend swindles Rs 1.95 lakh from Sikkim woman

Facebook friend swindles cash from Sikkim woman
Gangtok, 22 April: Too much into Facebook? Do watch out, as all your contacts in your friend list may not be friends actually. A woman from West Sikkim has complained  that one of her Facebook friends swindled her of Rs 1.95 lakh.
According to police, Srijana Rai (name changed for security reasons), a resident of Hee Kyongbari, became friends on the social networking site with one William Jackson who claimed he was from the UK. The duo started chatting frequently since 2 April this year.
As per the woman’s complaint lodged at the Geyzing police station, her Facebook friend asked for  her postal address on the  pretext of sending some gadgets and 70,000 pounds to her.
Jackson then asked Rai to send cash amounting to Rs 1.95 lakh on various dates through the State Bank of India (SBI).
She was asked to pay Rs 25,000 first, and then she paid Rs 60,000 more, and finally a lump sum of Rs 110,000 as “international courier, anti-terrorism and money registration charges under the Ministry of Finance in New Delhi”.
She was also asked to submit a duly filled form through email and that she would be able to withdraw the cash sent from UK only in Delhi and after she had submitted the form.
However, when she was asked to pay more money, she suspected foul play and checked with her bank, only to find, to her horror, all her cash was withdrawn.
She said a “lady agent” kept in touch with her all that while.
After preliminary investigations, police have requested the State bank of India to freeze all the nine accounts used for the cash transaction.
Police have also requested the bank to provide the details of the customer’s mobile phones.
Further investigations are underway, said police officers.(SNS)