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Gorkha janmukti Vidharthi Morcha Mungpoo Zone
बर्तमान दिनहरुसम्म प्राय: निष्क्रिय रहेको गोर्खा जनमुक्ति विधार्थी मोर्चा बिनय खेमा मङपु जोनको एउटा महत्वपूर्ण सभा विधार्थी मोर्चा केन्द्रीय समिति उपाध्यक्ष बिश्वास छेत्रीको अध्यक्षतामा बसेर पुनर्गठनपुर्वको निम्ति संयोजकहरु चुनिएको छ | सभाको परिणाम अनुसार मङपुको हरेक विभागहरुबाट एक – एक जना संयोजकहरु चयन गरिएको छ जसमा कबेन्द्र थामी, मर्कुश राई, प्रनेश गुरुङ अनि भिषण राई आदिका नाम उल्लेखित छन् | यी चुनिएका संयोजकहरुले आफ्नो विभागका विधार्थीहरुलाई प्रतिनिधित्व गर्ने भएको जानकारी प्राप्त छ | यसरी अचानक संयोजक चयन गर्नुको मुख्य उदेश्य आगमी केही दिनभित्रमै हुने १७ औं लोकसभा चुनावका टीएमसी प्रत्याशी अमरसिह राईलाई समर्थन गर्नु बुझिएको छ | विधार्थी मोर्चाले समर्थन गर्न यस कारणले उचित ठानेको छ कि अमरसिंह राई एक शिक्षक रहेको कारण पहाडमा उनको दुरदर्शिता र नेतृत्वले शिक्षाको क्षेत्रमा पनि धेरै प्रगति भएर जाने आशा रहेको छ | यसको साथै मङपु क्षेत्रमा निर्माणाधीन आइटीआई, मोडेल स्कुल अनि आगमी दिनमा निर्माण हुने युनिभर्सिटीलाई पनि तिनको सहयोग साथै मार्गदर्शनको खुबै आवश्यकता पर्ने विधार्थी मोर्चाको बिश्वास छ | पवन मंगरद्वारा संचालित सभामा गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा मङपु लाब्दा समष्टि महासचिव गगन राई, युवा मोर्चा खरसाङ महकुमा समिति सचिव बिज्ञेन मिश्र साथै युवा मोर्चा मङपु लाब्दा समष्टि सन्जन थापाको पनि उपस्थिति रहेको थियो भने सभाले ३० जनाको कार्यकारिणी सदस्य टोली पनि छनौट गरेको छ || 

Road to Srikhola Primary School highest poll station
Kolkata: The Election Commission is gearing up for voting in the booth at Srikhola Primary School under Bijanbari block in Darjeeling which is located at an altitude of 2,700 feet from the sea level. This booth in the district is located at the highest altitude in Bengal. Darjeeling will have polls on April 18, during the second phase of elections. "The booth is located very close to the Indo-Nepal border and is highly sensitive and accessibility is a major challenge. It is five hours' drive from Darjeeling town and then a steep climb of nearly 7 km on horses. The election officials and the security personnel including the Central Forces will be reaching the booth at least 24 hours in advance," an EC official said.

Bijanbari is a small town located in a valley. There is a winding scenic road that goes down all the way from Ghoom to this sleepy town over a stretch of 22 kilometres. Lovely mountain streams, waterfalls, tea gardens and the green forest is a feast to the eyes. However, the booth located at the extreme end of this block has around 915 voters who hail from four villages.

The residents in the area have been demanding proper connectivity to this place for a very long time. There have been attempts by the state Public Works Department (PWD) to construct a narrow motorable road through the hills to reach the booth. Some part of the road was also built by the PWD engineers but a major landslide that took place a few months back had damaged it. It may be mentioned that the total number of booths in Darjeeling parliamentary constituency is 1,899 among which 874 booths are in the hills and the rest 1,025 booths are in the plains. Out of the 874 booths in the hills, 261 booths are in Kurseong Assembly constituency (AC), 321 in Darjeeling AC and 292 booths in Kalimpong AC. Darjeeling parliamentary constituency has 80 percent of its booths highly sensitive and the Commission is making special security arrangements for all of them.

Gorkha Ekta Maha Rally in Darjeeling
Darjeeling: The Darjeeling district administration has repeatedly denied permission to opposition parties from conducting election meetings in the hills. After being repeatedly denied election meeting permission, a coalition of four main political parties in the hills -- Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Gorkha National Liberation Front, Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist and Bharatiya Janata Party -- on Monday took out a cultural rally showcasing Gorkha unity and solidarity. They are calling it ‘Gorkha Ekta Maharally’.
Corresponding with EastMojo, a GNLF leader Arbin Subba said, “We are showcasing the fact that the hills are united, and that our blood will always be thicker than any divisive agenda set by TMC agents.”
Agreeing to the sentiments, GJM spokesperson BP Bajgain told the press, “Yesterday [Sunday], we had held a political meeting in Kurseong, and the district administration permitted TMC to conduct their political meeting only 50 metres away from our venue. Today, we asked for a rally permission at Gorkha Stadium in Lebong, but the same was denied to us. So, this is how we are showing our unity... together, we will fight against this administrative discrimination and subversion of our democratic rights.”
With voting scheduled for April 18, Darjeeling is gearing up for a major showdown between TMC and BJP, both supported by local political parties.

We want Gorkhaland Poster
Darjeeling, Bengal’s prime tourist destination, is also one of its most troubled spots. Sandwiched between Sikkim and Nepal, this verdant and picturesque slice of the eastern Himalayas has seen frequent bouts of agitations demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland over the last 35 years.

But, while the earlier agitations resulted in limited autonomy for the Gorkha-majority Darjeeling Hills, the last shutdown in 2017 led to unprecedented and brutal repression by the Bengal government that has left the people of the hills hurt and angry. And it is this simmering anger that will determine the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls here.

The Saga Of Horrific Repression
The 2017 agitation called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM)--the dominant political force in the hills--took the form of a 104-day shutdown that brought life to a standstill and resulted in huge economic losses.

The Mamata Banerjee government adopted a two-pronged approach to tackle the unrest: it divided the Morcha and let loose a reign of repression. Police brutalities, including firing by police that resulted in many deaths, incarcerating people with false cases of rioting, murder, possession of arms and blocking of highways slapped against them, midnight raids on houses of even supporters of the statehood movement, custodial torture by police and barbarous human rights violations followed.

The Morcha leaders who refused to be bought off and abandon the statehood demand were hounded out of the Hills with hundreds of allegedly false cases registered against them.
Most of the top leaders of the hardline faction of the Morcha led by Bimal Gurung are fugitives. But that has not made them unpopular with the Gorkhas in Darjeeling. Gurung communicates with the Gorkhas through social media and his YouTube clips are viewed by tens of thousands of people.

However, the pro-Mamata Banerjee faction of the Morcha led by Binay Tamang remains deeply unpopular primarily because Tamang and his cohorts are looked upon as traitors to the Gorkhaland cause. More so since he is perceived to be supporting the continuing repression by the state administration of the Gorkhas in the hills.

The Trinamool, and Mamata Banerjee herself, are also despised by the Gorkhas, despite the chief minister showering development projects and doles on the Hills.
So pervasive and deep is the fear of the repressive state administration that even victims of police atrocities refuse to give out their names when they speak of their sufferings. There are hundreds of accounts of how innocent people, even school kids, were picked up by the police for supporting or even on suspicion of supporting the statehood demand.

Merely uttering ‘Gorkhaland’ can land one in police custody even today. There are heart-wrenching accounts of the arrested being tortured. There are horrific accounts of midnight raids by the police on houses of Gorkhaland supporters and activists and the high-handedness of the men in uniform.

Ladies speak of cops even destroying their kitchens and food, breaking furniture and looting valuables. One young man angrily recounts how cops took away medicines meant for his father who was recovering from a heart attack. An old woman cries bitterly while narrating how her school-going grandson was slapped and assaulted by cops for having written ‘Gorkhaland’ on a notebook. Accounts of gross and blatant violations of human rights are common.
“The reign of terror unleashed by the chief minister on us during and after the (2017) agitation was horrible and has never happened anywhere in the country. Not only the Morcha leaders and activists, anyone even remotely suspected of having links with the Morcha or supporting the Gorkhaland state demand were subjected to police brutality. False cases were slapped against them and most are still fighting those cases.

Many people were killed in police firing, but the state has refused to acknowledge that. Apprehending arrests, many have fled and the state has attached their properties. Many homes and families have been destroyed. The scale of human rights violations that had taken place and continues even today is unheard of and incomprehensible,” says a prominent human rights activist who refused to be named for fear of being arrested on false charges.

The Angry Gorkhas
That is why the Gorkhas are angry. But they cannot express this anger openly, not even on social media. “Even if a person reacts with a ‘like’ to a social media post critical of the chief minister or the Bengal government, or a post in favour of Gorkhaland, he or she will be picked up for questioning by the police. This has happened. The state authorities monitor social media very minutely and any activity that is deemed to be anti-government or anti-Trinamool is punished,” says Ajay Edwards, the vice-president of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF).
The GNLF, under the leadership of Subhas Ghising, spearheaded the first statehood stir in the mid-1980s that led to the creation of the semi-autonomous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) through a tripartite agreement between the GNLF, the Union government and the then Left Front government in Bengal in 1988.

Edwards, who owns the iconic Glenary’s restaurant in Darjeeling town, cites his own case to illustrate the repression of Gorkhas by the Mamata Banerjee government. “The Morcha had started hounding us and we developed an understanding with the Trinamool. But about a month ago, that understanding came to an end when we declared that we will chart an independent path for the Lok Sabha polls and will not support the Trinamool candidate. Ever since then, many cases have been lodged against me. The charges against me range from trying to set a police officer on fire to disturbing communal harmony and blocking highways. That all these cases have been registered against me as soon as we broke ranks with the Trinamool shows that they (the charges) are false. But we will not be deterred by these false cases,” he says.
Edwards also gives the example of J B Tamang, the leader of the Hill Plantation Workers’ Union which is the labour arm of the GNLF. “Tamang has been working for implementation of basic minimum wages for tea garden workers and is very popular. He has been organising tea garden workers and since our Union has been gaining popularity, it was seen as a threat by Trinamool and its allies in Darjeeling. Tamang was arrested last month on false cases like obstructing the police from carrying out their duties and blocking highways,” says Edwards.

In fact, these two--obstructing the police from their duties and blocking highways--are the most common charges in cases registered against the hundreds of Gorkhas.
A leader of the Communist Party Of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM) says that the Bengal government’s thinking that the Gorkhas can be won over with doles is deeply flawed.

The CPRM was formed by CPI(M) leaders belonging to the hills who were disappointed over their parent party’s opposition to the GNLF-led Gorkhaland agitation of the mid-1980s. “The chief minister thinks she can assuage our hurt and gain our support by giving us a university, or announcing some doles and sops, or sanctioning development projects for Darjeeling. This thinking hurts our self-respect and makes us angrier,” he said.

The Electoral Battle
The Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat has been a prestigious one, but never the exclusive preserve of any single party. The Congress and the CPI(M) won the seat many times, and over the last two terms, the BJP has been winning this seat with the firm support of the GJM. Jaswant Singh won Darjeeling in 2009 and S S Ahluwalia in 2014.
The Trinamool has fielded a former academic, Amar Singh Rai, as its candidate from Darjeeling. Rai actually belongs to the GJM, and had won the Darjeeling Assembly constituency in 2016 on a GJM ticket and had defeated his Trinamool rival by a handsome margin. After the 2017 agitation, he distanced himself from the hardline faction of his party and aligned with the Binay Tamang faction that is close to the Trinamool. But the angry Gorkhas regard him as a turncoat and even though he is respected as an academic, he appears to have forfeited the support of the people as a politician.
The BJP’s Ahluwalia had become unpopular with the Gorkhas because of his perceived indifference to their sufferings during and after the 2017 stir and it thus became imperative to replace him. The BJP did that and, in close consultation with the Bimal Gurung faction of the GJM as well as leading citizens of Darjeeling, nominated Raju Singh Bista as its candidate.

Bista, though a Gorkha, hails from Manipur and is a successful industrialist. He has a long association with the RSS and is perceived as intelligent, articulate and a fresh face with youthful charm and earnestness. It is pertinent that two candidates from this seat--CPRM’s R B Rai and Swaraj Thapa (Independent)--have withdrawn in Bista’s favour.
Darjeeling will witness a largely two-cornered contest between the BJP and the Trinamool and the others--CPI(M)’s Saman Pathak and Congress’ Sankar Malakar--do not count for much.

The Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat has seven Assembly segments: Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong in the Hills and Matigara-Naxalbari, Siliguri, Phansidewa and Chopra in the plains.

The Gorkhas are in an overwhelming majority in the Hills and are a decisive factor in Matigara-Naxalbari and Siliguri. Bengali Hindus are in a majority in Siliguri and Chopra, but these Assembly segments also have sizeable populations of Gorkhas, Adivasis and Rajbongshis. The Adivasis and Rajbongshis are unhappy with the Trinamool, the former for the state government’s failure to rejuvenate tea gardens where most of them work and the latter for the state’s perceived antipathy towards their demand for a distinct identity. Adivasis form the largest ethnic group in Phansidewa.
The Bimal Gurung-led faction of the Morcha commands the undying but silent (silent due to fear of state repression) loyalty of an overwhelming majority of Gorkhas. With this faction fully backing Bista and Gurung appealing to people to vote for him, Bista’s win in the three Assembly segments in the Hills is certain. As for the plains, the BJP has gained strength and popularity in those areas over the last few years.
In the 2016 Assembly polls, the Trinamool candidates trailed much behind the GJM candidates in the Darjeeling and Kurseong seats, while the Trinamool-supported candidate was also convincingly defeated by the GJM in Kalimpong seat. Since then, thanks to the brutal state repression of Gorkhas during and after the 2017 unrest, the Trinamool is an intensely-disliked entity in the Hills.

The Matigara-Naxalbari seat was won by the Congress and though the Trinamool was the runner-up, the BJP bagged 21.3 per cent of the votes.
The CPI(M) won the Siliguri seat in 2016 and here too, the Trinamool was the runner-up but the BJP’s vote share was 11.46 per cent, nearly three times the figure of 4 per cent in 2011. The BJP, say party leaders, would have done much better had the Trinamool not fielded popular footballer Bhaichung Bhutia from the seat. “Many Gorkhas and football-crazy Bengalis voted for Bhutia, or we would have been in second position in Siliguri,” said Srikumar Haldar, a local BJP leader.
Phansidewa is an Adivasi stronghold and has always sent Adivasi candidates to the state Assembly. In 2016, the Congress won the seat while the Trinamool was in second position and the BJP in third. The BJP’s vote share was 18.14 per cent, up from 4 per cent in 2011.

Since then, the BJP and its frontal organisations have worked very hard among the Adivasis and other sections and garnered considerable support among them. The BJP has also strengthened its support base within the Bengali Hindu community in this seat.

Chopra is the only Assembly segment where the Trinamool is strong, and that is because Muslims are the largest group there. But the BJP enjoys the support of other communities and ethnic groups in Chopra.
The overall analysis is that the lead that Bista is expected to gain from the three Gorkha-dominated hill segments will place him in a very comfortable position. Bista is also expected to get a majority of the votes in Matigara-Naxalbari and Phansidewa constituencies and could pull through in Siliguri. It is only in Chopra Assembly segment that the Trinamool candidate’s chances are bright. But the gains there will not be enough to pull Rai through, given the losses he is expected to suffer in the rest of the constituency.

Gorkha Unity rally in Darjeeling before loksabha election 2019
The BJP paraded representatives of at least seven political and apolitical outfits at a rally in Chowrasta here and used the gathering to claim that the Gorkhas were united behind the saffron camp even as Opposition parties called it a gimmick ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Over 16 lakh people are expected to vote to elect a new Darjeeling MP on Thursday. Around 7 lakh voters belong to Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong — three Assembly segments in the hills.
“This is a ‘Gorkha Unity Vijay Mahajulis’. This was planned to show the unity among the Gorkhas,” said Ajoy Edwards, a steering committee member of the GNLF, calling the programme a “victory celebration”.
The GNLF is taking the lead in mobilising supporters in the hills for the BJP’s Darjeeling candidate Raju Bista.
Apart from the GNLF, the BJP also has the support of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Bimal), the CPRM, the ABGL (Pratap), the Gorkhaland Nirman Morcha, the SUMETI Morcha and apolitical Gorkhaland Sanyukta Sangharsh Samity among others.
At Chowrasta, firecrackers were burst, traditional Nepali instruments played and the processionists played with abir, as they tried to portray the programme as a “victory celebration”.
At the public meeting, the narrative of the “victory celebration” changed a bit as the speakers talked about “victory” being secured in the polls and results just being a formality.
Such claims, a political observer said, could be construed as a “psychological game” ahead of the polls. “In closely contested polls, such tactics are often used with the motive of demoralising the Opposition,” said the observer.
Neeraj Zimba, the spokesman for the GNLF, however, asked. “Do they (Trinamul-Morcha (Binay) combine) have the guts to organise a victory celebration?”
But rivals have sought to contest the united Gorkha narrative.
“They are living in a fool’s paradise. Darjeeling is yet to vote and it’s amusing to find them celebrating,” said Suraj Sharma, the spokesman for the Morcha (Binay) camp.
Told that the BJP camp was celebrating the “victory” of unity among the Gorkhas, Sharma said: “This is a just a gimmick. Only the leaders have united. When Darjeeling was burning in the last agitation, where was the unity among these leaders? Instead, slogans like ‘all party chapter is closed’ were heard from parties which are now celebrating the unity victory.”
During the public meeting, the leaders stressed the “Gorkha pride” and made repeated reference to the 2017 Gorkhaland agitation.

Anit Thapa in Mungpoo
 मङपु, १४, अप्रेल राजेश थापा : बिकास मेरो प्राथमिकता होइन, बिकास त हामी गर्छौं नै गर्छौं तर हाम्रो मुख्य प्राथमिकता भनेको तपाईहरु उभ्दै गरेको घडेरी पक्का बनाउन पायो भने त्यो नै हाम्रो निम्ति ठुलो उपलब्धि हो | यसैले तपाईहरुले अमरसिंह राईलाई होइन, त्रिणामूल – गोजमुमोको झण्डालाई होइन तर तपाईहरुले आफ्नो भोट आफ्नो जमीन पक्का बनाउन पर्छ भन्ने सोंच राखेर हलिदिनुपर्छ भन्ने अपिल गर्दछु भन्दै टीएमसी प्रार्थी अमरसिह राईको समर्थनमा मङपुमा आयोजित चुनावी जनसभालाई सम्बोधन गर्दै गोजमुमो मूलसचिव तथा जीटीए बीओए उपाध्यक्ष अनित थापाले यसो भनेका हुन् | तिनले अझै भन्दै थिए मङपुबासी पनि सायद ९० प्रतिशत भूमिहिन छन् | हाम्रो भोटर कार्ड छ, यहाँ सरकारी काम भएकाहरु छन् तैपनि हामी भूमिहिन छौ | यसैले यसपाली मङपुबासी हरेकले आफ्नो भूमिलाई पक्का बनाउने सोंचेर भोट हाल्नपर्छ | बाटो झोडा नाला त पहिले देखि नै चलिआएको कुरा हो तर हामीलाई महत्वपूर्ण कुरा भनेको नै हाम्रो जमीन हो | जसको कागजपत्र हामीसित छैन | यसैले हामी यसपल्ट आफ्नो जमीन पक्का गर्नकै निम्ति अमरसिंह राईलाई जिताउनपर्छ | मुख्यमन्त्री ममता ब्यनार्जी जो गोर्खा भन्ने शब्द नै सुन्न नमान्ने | हामीले राम्रोसित बुझाउँदा बुझाउँदा अहिले तिनले खुल्ला मंचबाट गोर्खाको बिषयमा बोल्न थालिन त | अहिलेसम्मको इतिहासमा बङ्गालको मुख्यमन्त्री कसैले पनि गोर्खाको चिन्हारीको जिम्मेवारी म लिन्छु भनेर भनेको थिएन जो मुख्यमन्त्री ममता ब्यनार्जीले भनेकी छन् | यो नै हाम्रो निम्ति ठुलो उपलब्धि हो |
सम्बोधनकै क्रममा प्राथी अमर सिह राइले सिन्कोना बगानको हितको निम्ति यस पल्ट सोचेर नै घास फुलको चिन्हमा भोट दिने अपिल गरे | तिनले अझ भने - चिया बगानको पर्जापट्टा र सिन्कोना बगानको पर्जापट्टा अलग बिषय हो यो एउटा ठाउमा गाभ्नु हुँदैन | सिन्कोनाको मात्र अलगै कमिटि बनाएर पर्ज्जापट्टा दिने बिषयमा काम गर्नु पर्छ भनि हामीले सरकार समक्ष भनि सकेका छौ |
अर्का वक्ता टीएमसी नेता एनबी खवासले एनआरसीले गोर्खाहरु माथि पर्ने प्रभाव बारे पूर्ण जानकारी दिंदै एनआरसीको कारण यस पालीको भोट चुनाव भन्दा बडी हाम्रो निम्ति चुनौती भएर गएको छ यसैले एनआरसीबाट मुक्ति पाउनको निम्ति गोजामुमोद्वारा समर्थीत टीएमसी प्राथी अमरसिह राई भोट दिने अपिल गरे | गोजमुमो मङपुका राम पोख्रेलको अध्यक्षता अनि युवा मोर्चा केन्द्रीय प्रवक्ता अनित खातीद्वारा संचालित सभालाई गोजमुमो समर्थित टीएमसी पार्टी उम्मेदवार अमरसिंह राईलाई जिताउने पर्ने बिषयमा जोर दिंदै हिल त्रिणामूल महिला समितिका शारदा सुब्बा, मोर्चा मङपु लाब्दा समष्टि सचिव गगन राई, किरण ब्लोन, रतन लामा, युवा मोर्चाका बिज्ञेन मिश्रले पनि सम्बोधन गरेका थिए | सभामा समष्टि पुर्व सभासद रतन थापा, जीटीए पीआरओ आरबी लामा, समष्टि गोजमुमो सभापति एडवर्ड लेप्चा लगायत टीएमसी अनि मोर्चाका अन्य नेतृत्व साथै समर्थकहरुको पनि उपस्थिति रहेको थियो ||

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