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10 Feb 2017

JAP fest on district birth

RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, Feb. 9: Five days before Kalimpong takes birth as the 21st district of the state, celebrations began in the hill town with the Jana Andolan Party taking the lead by organising a day-long "Kalimpong Jana Fest" at the Mela Ground today.
The JAP, some would argue, has stolen a march over others in organising the celebrations, given that its founding president Harka Bahadur Chhetri was the one to take the lead in espousing the Kalimpong district cause since he quit the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on September 18, 2015.
"Let us give credit where it is due. Dr Chhetri was the reason for the district's creation in a very quick time. The chief minister had announced her government's decision to form the district because of Chhetri's efforts even though she now claims sole credit (for the decision)," said an observer.
Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to inaugurate the new district at an official programme at the same venue on February 14. According to Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava, the inauguration will be followed by a four-hour long cultural programme.
While announcing the decision to carve Kalimpong district out of the existing Darjeeling district on December 18, 2015, Mamata had named the JAP president for raising the demand.
However, during her last visit to Kalimpong in September, she said her decision was not influenced by anyone and took sole credit for it.
Hundreds of people, mostly JAP supporters, thronged the fest, where events such as inter-ward dancing, box beat and fancy dress competitions were held.
Popular Kalimpong-born Nepali singer Adrian Pradhan will bring down the curtains on the celebrations later in the evening with, what is expected to be, his usual live wire performance.
Most people The Telegraph spoke to at the Mela Ground celebrations credited both Chhetri and Mamata with upgrading the subdivision to a district.

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