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TMC confident of election victory ahead of vote counting

TMC confident of election victory ahead of vote counting
Darjeeling: With 24 hours to go for counting, the TMC is expecting to dent the GJM fortress in the hills by taking the Mirik municipality and making a strong presence in the other three civic bodies.
A senior central committee TMC leader who did not wish to come on record asserted that the party was confident of winning the Mirik civic body given the huge response voters gave on voting day. “In Mirik we are expecting to win five seats. We say this with reasons that people of Mirik will not forget that the block has been upgraded to a sub-division and chief minister Mamata Banerjee has also promised to give ownership of their land,” he pointed.
The TMC leader also said that Kalimpong will see a hung municipality as it was a three way fight between the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, TMC and the Jana Andolan Party. He however said the GJM would form the boards in Darjeeling and Kurseong municipalities. “After going through the voting trend and issues in question, we have come to the conclusion that Kalimpong will be hung because of the JAP factor,” he said.
Strong rooms holding the EVMs will be opened at 7.30 in the morning tomorrow while counting will start at 8 am. “Only candidates in fray and their election agent or counting agents will be present in the counting room. We expect the counting to be over by 10.30 am,” said Joyoshi Dasgupta, the Darjeeling DM and district municipal officer, today.
The EVMs have been kept amidst tight security at St. Robert’s School in Darjeeling and in the SDO offices in Kurseong and Mirik. In Kalimpong, the EVMs have been kept in the Athiti Griha Hall. “In Darjeeling district it will be moistly five rounds and maybe six in a single case. All EVMs from one ward will be counted at the same table. We have 1-2 wards per table,” the DM said.
In the Darjeeling municipality there were 81 polling stations for the 32 wards. In Mirik, 10 polling stations were set-up for 9 wards while Kurseong had 27 booths for the 20 civic wards there. Kalimpong had 46 booths for 23 wards.
To ensure peace and tranquility during counting, the police department has forbidden political parties to take out victory rallies. Supporters of GJM and those of the opposition parties including independent candidates have been kept away far from each other in all the four municipalities of the hills. “We have asked the political parties not to take out victory rallies tomorrow. We will only allow rallies and other victory activities from Thursday onwards. We will be deploying state and district police for the counting,” said Amit Javalgi, the Darjeeling SP.
GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang expressed confidence of forming the boards in all the four hills municipalities saying it was a victory for the statehood cause. “We will win in all the four municipalities. We could however face tough competition in some of the wards from where independent candidates have contested. People have voted for the separate state demand,” he said. (EOIC)

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