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Darjeeling hill trinamool congress meeting for Amarsingh Rai
गोजमुमो र तृणमूल कंग्रेसले यसपाली समय, काल र परिस्थिति हेरेर निर्णय लिएका हुन्। हिल तृणमूल कंग्रेस नेता एवं पार्टीको दार्जीलिङ चुनाउ प्रभारी राजेन मुखियाले आज पार्टी कार्यालयमा आफ्नो पार्टीबाट उम्मेद्वार बनाइएका प्रार्थी अमरसिंह राईलाई स्वागत जनाएपछि पत्रकारहरूसित कुराकानी गर्दै यसो भनेका हुन्।
उनलाई पनि विनय तामाङपन्थी गोजमुमो र तृणमूल कंग्रेसको यस्तो चुनावी गठबन्धन हुन्छ भन्ने लागेको थिएन। तरै पनि यसप्रकारको चुनावी तालमेल भएपछि पार्टीका केही कार्यकर्ताहरूले मन दुखाएको बताउँदै आजको बैठकमा ती कार्यकर्ताहरूलाई सम्झाउने काम गरिएको पनि बताए। आज अमरसिंह राईले स्थानीय जजबजारस्थित तृणमूल कंग्रेस पार्टी कार्यालयमा तृणमूल कंग्रेस कार्यकर्ताहरूसित एक बैठक गरे।
यसैबीच, उनले पत्रकारहरूसित कुराकानी गर्दै आगामी केही दिनपछि उऩी चुनाउ प्रचारको लागि सिलगढी झर्ने र त्यहाँ 10-15 दिन बस्ने बताए। उनले भने-दार्जीलिङ पहाडका तीनवटा विधानसभा क्षेत्रमा गोजमुमो र हिल तृणमूल कंग्रेसका नेतृत्व अनि कार्यकर्ताहरूले प्रचारको काम गर्नेछन्। यसैले म सिलगढी अनि समतलका अन्य विधानसभा क्षेत्रमा प्रचार गर्न जानेछु। एक प्रश्‍नको उत्तरमा अमरसिँह राईले भने-यस चुनाउमा हाम्रो प्रतिद्वन्दिता कुनै पनि पार्टी वा उम्मेद्वारसित हुनेछैन। किनभने, यो चुनाउ हामी सजिलैसित जित्नेछौं। यदि दार्जीलिङ लोकसभा आसनबाट भारतीय जनता पार्टीले एसएस आहलुवालिया नै उम्मेद्वार बनाए, हामीलाई धेरै सजिलो पर्नेछ। विमल गुरूङपन्थी गोजमुमो र गोर्खा राष्ट्रिय मुक्ति मोर्चामाझ भएको गठबन्धनबारे प्रश्‍न गर्दा उनले भने-राजनीतिमा कोही पनि स्थायी शत्रु र स्थायी मित्र हुँदैन। तरै पनि यी दुइ पार्टीको गठबन्धन अपवित्र गठबन्धन हो। जसको जवाब यसपालीको चुनाउमा जनताले दिनेछन्।
यसरी नै तृणमूल कंग्रेस नेता राजेन मुखियासित यो प्रश्‍न गर्दा उनले पनि राजनीतिमा असम्भव केही छैन भन्ने बताए। हामीले पनि गोजमुमो र तृणमूल कंग्रेस अनि विमलपन्थी गोजमुमो र गोरामुमोको मिलन हुन्छ भनेर सोंचेका थिएनौं। तरै पनि गठबन्धन भएको छ, अब जनतालाई कसले बुझाउन सक्छ, सम्झाउन सक्छ, त्यो ठूलो कुरा हुनेछ। तर हाल विकास, रोजगारको समस्या नै महत्वपूर्ण छन्। चियाबगान, सिन्कोना बगान आदिका जनताको पर्जा-पट्टा, मिनिमम वेजेस एक्टको माग छ। यस विषयलाई पार्टीले आफ्नो चुनावी घोषणा पत्रमा उल्लेख गर्नेछ। राज्यकी मुख्यमन्त्री ममता व्यानर्जी एक यस्ता महिला नेतृ हुन्, जसलाई बुझाउन सकिए, तत्कालै काम हुनसक्छ। यसैले यस चुनाउमा हाम्रो उम्मेद्वारको जीत भए, हाम्रा जति समस्याहरू छन्, ती समस्याहरू मुख्यमन्त्रीले पूर्ण गरिदिन्छिन् भन्ने विषयमा हामी आशावादी छौं।
 http://www.gafsaff.com/

Amit Shah with Narendra Modi
Darjeeling: While Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia’s absence from BJP’s first list of 28 candidates has exposed the party’s dilemma, Trinamool Congress admitted on Friday that it would face a tall task in convincing and mobilizing its activists to support GJM, once its nemesis.
Ahluwalia’s absence from the Hills during the 106-day shutdown in 2017 had earned him several detractors. BJP’s next list is expected on Monday, which may include Darjeeling that goes to polls in Phase 2 (April 18).

Sources said though BJP has the backing of GNLF and GJM (Bimal Gurung faction), these Hill parties have been rooting for a ‘son-of-the-soil’ to take on Amar Singh Rai, the candidate announced by TMC and GJM (Binay Tamang faction). Ahluwalia, however, has indicated his desire for a renomination.

TMC’s nomination of Rai is a tactical move to counter BJP, its main opposition in the plains and Hills. Rai is affable and has a clean image, being a former educationist. The Hills TMC unit hosted him at their party office here on Friday to chalk out joint campaign strategies.

Interacting with the media on the sidelines, TMC election observer (Darjeeling) Rajen Mukhia said: “No doubt our activists are feeling a little let down. I also did not think we could ever have an alliance with GJM. But the decision to join hands and field a GJM candidate was taken considering the circumstances in the Hills, which we respect,” he said.

TMC leaders and activists had to bear the brunt of the 2017 agitation. Most leaders had gone underground and party offices in the Hills had to close. “Not only party cadres, I myself faced immense problems. Therefore, we will first have to mobilize our supporters by convincing them about the decision taken by our higher-ups. I am sure our supporters will give their best,” Mukhia said. 
 
 

Source: TOI

I am a Gorkha not a terrorist

Raising the bogey of Gorkhaland periodically, hill parties have tried to stay relevant in the hill politics, say analysts. However, no political party or leader has been sincere in resolving the century-old demand.


The joining hands by fugitive Gorkha leader Bimal Gurung with arch-rival Mann Ghising of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) to back a BJP candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, has kicked up a political storm in the politically-restive Darjeeling hills in north Bengal.

Analysts say the coming together of the two opponents in the hill political spectrum — both the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and the GNLF have ruled the hills in turns following violent movements for a separate state of Gorkhaland since the mid-1980s to until mid-2017, when Gurung held the reins of the GJM — symbolises “politics of staying relevance”.

Raising the bogey of Gorkhaland periodically, hill parties have tried to stay relevant in the hill politics, they say.

In a video clip uploaded on social media on Thursday from an “undisclosed” location, the fugitive Gorkha leader justified the coming together of the two rival parties and exhorted people living in Darjeeling hills to support the BJP to fulfill the dream of a separate state of Gorkhaland.

Gurung and a section of the faction’s top-rung leaders have been “underground” since the 105-day-long shutdown in the hills in mid-2017 that saw the Binay Tamang faction taking over the reins of the party and the control of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and subsequently aligning with the Trinamool Congress.

The Gorkha strongman has been on the run ever since a plethora of criminal cases was slapped against him  by the Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal.

“Since then, the former GJM boss has been trying to stay relevant in hill politics by periodically issuing statements on social media and releasing videos clips from ‘undisclosed’ locations, to allay fears of him being forced into political wilderness and to keep what is left of his support base, intact,” a Darjeeling-based analyst told Outlook.

Gurung, in the video clip, justified the alliance with the GNLF and the BJP, saying it reflects the “genuine aspirations” of the hill people.

Without naming Tamang and his deputy Anit Thapa, Gurung in the video clip says people should not forget the “martyrs” of the 2017 agitation and not forgive the two “gaddaars” (traitors) who have betrayed the Gorkhas by joining hands with the Trinamool. 

Leaders of the Gurung faction of the GJM say the party decided to back the BJP candidate for the Darjeeling seat as its alliance dates back to 2009.

“It is shameful and sad to see GNLF has joined hands with the same people who hounded their founder out of the hills. The same people did not allow his wife’s body to be brought to the hills,” says Tamang on the alliance.

The GNLF founder-chairman late Subhash Ghising was hounded from the hills by the GJM headed by Gurung, who was emerging as an alternative leader in the hills to his mentor-turned foe, in 2008.

Gurung went on to spearhead two violent agitations in quick succession over the next decade, and emerged as the “undisputed” Gorkha leader in Darjeeling hills.

The new alliance stands for a “greater cause” for the Gorkhas and the other communities of Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars, say Gurung faction leaders.

The demand for separate statehood for Nepali-speaking people of Indian origin is more than 110-years old.

However, no political party or leader has been sincere in resolving the century-old demand.

“Once they assumed political control in the hills, ‘tasted’ the fruits of power, they conveniently forgot their constituents,” a political analyst who did not wish to be named told Outlook.

“Time and again, the demand for a Gorkha identity and a separate state of their own got buried in the quagmire of ‘make-a-quick-buck’ power politics,” he added.

The demand for Gorkhaland may be divisive depending on which side of the divide you are on. Those against, argue that Bengal cannot be further divided, but Nepali-speaking Gorkhas and other communities living in the hills for generations want a separate state of their own, saying they suffer alienation and apathy from those in power, and it is a justified demand.

“But by continuing to debate the pros and cons of the demand, the two sides will just allow the Darjeeling stalemate to drag on,” the analyst says.

The new political alignment will bring the BJP back into the political landscape of the hills.

The BJP, desperate to gain a foothold in Bengal, is no newcomer to the hills. It rode piggyback on the GJM to win two successive polls in 2009 and 2014.

However, the BJP has been in the political doldrums in the hills ever since Gurung has been on the run.

Gurung as the GJM supremo in 2007 signed a tripartite agreement with the Centre and Bengal government that led to the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) replacing the earlier GNLF-headed Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), which too was a result of a tripartite agreement inked by Ghising with the then Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and the state government headed by veteran Marxist chief minister Jyoti Basu.

But, despite the renewed support, the BJP may not have a free run for the Darjeeling seat like in the earlier occasions --- the BJP is yet to announce the party’s candidate from the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat ---with the Binay Tamang faction of the GJM at the helm of affairs and has the sanction of the ruling Trinamool in the state, the analyst says.

Mamata Banerjee has secured the Tamang faction’s support by fielding former Darjeeling legislator Amar Singh Rai as the Trinamool candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat.

Justifying the new alliance, top GNLF leader Neeraj Zimba says, “It is the need of the hour.”

Gurung has moved the apex court against his arrest, a plea that was dismissed. Gurung, Bengal intelligence agencies believe, keeps changing his location, moving between hideouts in eastern Nepal, Dehradun and the national capital, to evade arrest.

The fugitive Gorkha leader’s supporters are hopeful of Gurung’s resurgence once legal wrangles are sorted out.

Many in the GJM rank and file — aligned with Gurung -- believe that if the fugitive leader resurfaces, the tide in the hills can change overnight.

Twenty-eight days is a long time in politics. Darjeeling goes to polls on April 18.

https://www.outlookindia.com

BJP MP and union minister SS Ahluwalia
BJP MP and union minister SS Ahluwalia's name was not announced in BJP's list of candidates on Thursday. With the seat going to polls during the second phase of Lok Sabha on April 18 and an unnamed candidate suggests things aren't well in the hills for the BJP, said leaders.

The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Ahluwalia was elected to the seat with the active support of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in May 2014. In 2009, Jaswant Singh had won the seat.

Key to the BJP's success in the seat has been the issue of Gorkhaland. However, things began changing after the 2016 Assembly elections. TMC has fielded Amar Singh Rai of the GJM faction which yields its loyalties to Binay Tamang, Chairman of Gorkhaland Territorial Council and GJM leader.

How BJP's hold over Darjeeling weakened

On the face of it, the 2016 Assembly election results weren't unsuitable for GJM's Bimal Gurung. But its performance in the hills, particularly Kalimpong - historically Gurung's backyard - had the party worried.

Even more worrying in 2016 was the move by GJM senior leaders joining the TMC, while Gurung re-launched the demand for Gorkhaland by filing a plea in the Supreme Court challenging the Bengal government's refusal to transfer administrative power to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.

These changes occurred over and above the tripartite agreement between the state and union governments, and GJM in 2011 which gave GTA its semi-autonomous power and control to administer Darjeeling hills.

Banerjee, meanwhile, began a politics of "divide-and-rule", combined with the promise of development.

Ahead of the 2016 elections, Banerjee announced a series of development boards for almost every community living in Darjeeling. While the Gorkhas remain the dominant community here, the Lepchas, Limpus, Tamangs, Bhutias, Rais, Dukpas, Sherpas, and Tibetans also form a sizeable population. "This effectively weakened the overall Gorkhaland movement, made it less focused and sharp and this was an advantage for Mamata Banerjee," said a senior TMC leader.

The Break in GJM

In 2017, Darjeeling saw a spate of violence, including the longest ever shutdown of 104 days that brought the entire north Bengal to a standstill. Banerjee, meanwhile, blamed the centre for supporting “anti-national forces.” Eventually, armed forces from the Centre were deployed. The turning point was two bomb blasts in August in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, that killed one civic volunteering and injured two others. A lookout notice was issued against Gurung and his associates under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, forcing him to abscond.

“This brought the infighting within the GJM out in the open. Binay Tamang, and leader Anil Thapa were kicked out the GJM after announcing a partial withdrawal of the shutdown. Tamang declared this expulsion “unconstitutional” and with Gurung still on the run, he solidified his hold over the party,” said a senior GJM leader.

Banerjee, meanwhile, announced a series of welfare moves for Darjeeling, while appointing Tamang as the head of the Board of Administrators responsible for carrying out development activities. The GJM faction, headed by Tamang - now the dominant faction has since supported the TMC. 
 
https://www.news18.com

Cinchona Plantation Workers Union
गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा समर्थित सिन्कोना प्लान्टेशन वकर्स युनियनले दार्जीलिंगबाट १७ औं लोकसभा चुनावमा टीएमसी उम्मेदवार अमरसिंह राईलाई समर्थन गरेर भारी मतले बिजय बनाउन संकल्प लिएको छ | अमरसिंह राई दार्जीलिंग लोकसभा सिटको निम्ति एक योग्य उम्मेदवार हुन् | जीटीए क्षेत्रको बेरोजगार युवा युवतीहरुको निम्ति राईले धेरै कार्यहरु गरेका छन् भने नगरपालिका, शैक्षिक संस्थान, राज्य स्तरीय विश्व विधालयसम्म भित्राउन सक्षम व्यक्ति तिनी हुन् | विगत १०५ दिनको बन्दले धराशय बनेका सिन्कोना बगानलाई बगानको उज्ज्वल भविष्य बनाउन सम्पूर्ण सिन्कोनाबासीका मतदाताहरुले भारी मतले बिजय गराइदिने हामी अपिल गर्छौं | मोर्चा ट्रेड युनियनले सिन्कोना ग्रुप डी पदोन्नति प्रक्रियाको सम्पूर्ण दस्तावेजी कामहरु सिधाएको छ र चुनावको आचार संहिता धारा समाप्तपछि सिन्कोना ट्रेड युनियन उक्त पदोन्नति कार्यमा लागी पर्नेछ | सिन्कोनाको संरक्षण एवम व्यवर्धन बिस्तारमा दिर्घकालदेखि ट्रेड युनियन लागी परेको छ भन्ने जानकारी युनियन कार्यकारिणी सभापति गगन राई, जोन सभापति किशन बुडाथोकीको उपस्थितिमा मोर्चा ट्रेड युनियनको पक्षबाट प्रचार प्रसार सचिव रिनेश शेर्पाले दिएका छन् ||

GNLF supporters joins GJM in Pokhriabung Nagari
गोरामुमो पोखरेबुङ-नागरी समष्टक्षेत्रका लगभग 50 जना कर्मठ गोरामुमो समर्थकहरूले पार्टीसित सिद्धान्त नमिलेको तथा आफूहरूको महत्व नराखेको गुनासो गर्दै गोजमुमोमा सामेल भएका छन्। आज दार्जीलिङमा गोजमुमो अध्यक्ष विनय तामाङ अनि महासचिव अनित थापाको उपस्थितिमा उक्त समर्थकहरूले गोजमुमोको झण्डा ग्रहण गरेका छन्।

2007 देखि हालसम्म हामी कट्टर गोरामुमो भएर बस्यौ।कति समस्याहरू आए, धम्कीहरू आए। हामीलाई ज्यान-मालको धम्की दिइयो, तर हामीले कहिल्यै पार्टी छोड़ेनौं। तर यत्रो सालसम्म गोरामुमोमा बसेका पार्टी कार्यकर्ताहरूलाई केही नसोधी जसले हाम्रो घर जलायो, मान्छे खेदयो, हरियो झण्डा सखाप पारयो, त्यही मान्छेसित नै हात मिलाएर आफ्नो दुनो सोझ्याउने काम गर्छ भने अब पार्टीमा हाम्रो के महत्व रह्यो र?  यहाँ आएर हाम्रो सिद्धान्त जीएनएलएफसंग मिलेन र नै हामीले पार्टी र मन घिसिङको हात छोड़ेर विनय तामाङ अनि अनित थापाको साथ दिन आएका हौं, गोरामुमो छोड़ी गोजमुमोमा सामेल हुनुको कारणहरू बताउँदै अश्विन स्याङ्जदेनले यसो भने।अश्विन स्याङ्देन नेपाली संगीतक्षेत्रका प्रख्यात कलाकार विनोद स्याङदेनका छोरा हुन् जसको घर विगत आन्दोलनको क्रममा गोजमुमो समर्थकहरूले जलाइदिएका थिए।आफूले पार्टीको निम्ति सर्वस्व सुम्पेर कार्य गरेको भएतापनि आफूहरूको इच्छाविपरीत गोरामुमो नेतृत्वहरूले कार्य गरेको कारण नै आफूहरूले गोरामुमो त्यागेको पनि उनले बताए। आज 50 जनाले गोजमुमोको झण्डा ग्रहण गरेको भएतापनि भविष्यमा अन्य गोरामुमो समर्थकहरू पनि गोजमुमोमा सामेल हुने पनि स्याङदेनले बताए।
नयाँ समर्थकहरूलाई गोजमुमोको झण्डा प्रदान गरेपछि गोजमुमो अध्यक्ष विनय तामाङले उक्त समर्थकहरू सुवास घिसिङको समयदेखि नै गोरामुमोमा रहिआएका उक्त कार्यकर्ताहरूले वर्तमानका गोरामुमोका नेताहरूको कार्यप्रणाली मन नपराएको कारणले गोजमुमोमा सामेल भएको बताउँदै स्वागत पनि जनाए।गोजमुमोले अबउसो उक्त नयाँ समर्थकहरूलाई समेटेर क्षेत्रको विकास अनि व्यवस्थापनको दिशामा पनि गोजमुमोले कार्य गरिदिने पनि तामाङले बताए।
 http://www.gafsaff.com/

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