GJMM to give own candidates for Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (SMP) elections

Bimal Gurung
The Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) and Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) chief Bimal Gurung announced on Sunday that the GJMM will be fielding its own candidates for the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (SMP) elections that are likely to be held on 3 October.

"GJMM has several supporters in the Terai region who have been extending full support to the Gorkhaland movement ever since the inception of the GJMM. Considering the views and aspirations of the people of the Terai region, GJMM has decided to field it's own party candidates in the upcoming SMP elections," Gurung said in a press release.

"The people of the Terai region have various problems, which can be solved only in a localized manner. The decision was taken by keeping this in mind," he added. According to Gurung, it was the unity of GJMM supporters that helped Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate SS Ahluwalia (Darjeeling MP) emerge victorious in the last Lok Sabha polls. "I have full hope that this time our candidates will emerge victorious as well," Gurung said. However, he did not disclose the names of the candidates.

Another regional party, the Kamtapur Progressive Party (KPP), which has a significant support base in the Matigara, Naxalbari, Kharibari and Phansidewa blocks in the plains, has said it will soon clear the air on whether it will support the BJP in the SMP elections or go it alone.

The State Election Commission (SEC) is likely to issue a notification for the SMP elections in the first week of September. The SEC has already informed anti-Trinamul political parties in writing that the SMP elections will be held on 3 October.

"The notification will be issued just a month before the 3 October polls, if things go in the right direction," SEC commissioner SR Upadhyay had told The Statesman on 18 August.(SNS)

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