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29 Apr 2017

Bid to break my party, says Harka - Trinamul denies Jana Andolan Party's charge

RAJEEV RAVIDAS AND BIRESWAR BANERJEE, TT,  April 28: The Jana Andolan Party president, Harka Bahdur Chhetri, today accused the Trinamul Congress of trying to break his organisation in order to thwart JAP from emerging as a strong regional force and also because of its refusal to align with any party in the municipality elections.
State minister and Trinamul leader Aroop Biswas, however, denied the allegations and said despite repeated proposals for an alliance from their side to the JAP, the hill party did not respond to the call.
Chhetri, who was at one time considered to be close to Trinamul chief and chief minister Mamata Banerjee, said Trinamul ministers were frequently visiting Kalimpong with the sole purpose of breaking the JAP.
"Trinamul ministers keep frequenting Kalimpong only to break the JAP. People must remain vigilant...The state never wants any regional party to become strong, and the JAP is getting strong. That is why the ministers keep frequenting Kalimpong to break the JAP," he told his supporters at a programme organised to introduce the 23 candidates of the party who will contest civic polls in Kalimpong. The event was held at the Town Hall.
Elections at Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Kurseong and Mirik municipalities will be held on May 14.#The JAP president said both Trinamul and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha were focused on defeating his party in Kalimpong.
"There is a grand alliance at work against the JAP. There is Morcha on one side and Trinamul on the other. The JAP has to struggle on its own in such a difficult situation," he said.
The JAP has been saying from the very beginning that it will go alone in the civic polls, despite frequent speculations of its possible alliance with Trinamul and other parties.
"We have at least made Kalimpong the centre point of state politics. Without us, neither Bimal Gurung nor Aroop Biswas would have come to Kalimpong. They have had to come because we were not up for sale...We have very clearly maintained that we cannot have an alliance with either Trinamul or the Morcha because our ideology and principles do not match," Chhetri asserted.
While Gurung had camped in Kalimpong for close to two months in an effort to galvanise his supporters to ensure the Morcha's victory in the municipal elections, Biswas has been a regular visitor to Kalimpong for Trinamul programmes.
Chhetri also cautioned people against falling prey to false talks about Kalimpong being denied funds by both the GTA and the state government in the event of his party's victory.
"We condemn such talks. A government is of the entire people. We will get funds due to us from whatever source," he said.
In Siliguri, minister Biswas brushed aside Chhetri's allegations and criticised the JAP leadership for not joining hands with Trinamul.
"We wanted to form an alliance with the JAP like we have allied with the GNLF. The basic thought is to fight in a united manner against the Morcha that has failed to carry out development in both the towns and villages across the hills. The party was at the helm of all the four municipalities but did nothing for people. Instead, the leaders and elected representatives indulged in corruption. The JAP leaders however, did not respond," Biswas, who is also the party's observer for Darjeeling district, said.

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