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2 Apr 2017

Pull up your socks, says Bimal Gurung to party men

EOI, DARJEELING, 1 Apr 2017: Apparently rattled by the exodus of supporters and the opposition making inroads ahead of the municipal election, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung today asked senior party leaders and elected members to buckle up to stop the seepage. Gurung, who was in Kalimpong district preparing for the election, arrived in Darjeeling to attend an indoor meeting organised by the sub-divisional committee. The GJM president expressed confidence of winning the civic body election, but while speaking to party leaders, elected GTA Sabhasads and supporters, hinted it would be tough this time.
“We are being attacked from all corners by the TMC which is getting help from the state government. We have to tighten our belts now and take this as a challenge. But in spite of all this, we will win all the four municipalities,” he said.
A visibly miffed Gurung also asked party leaders not to put their personal benefits ahead of the party by quarrelling with each to get election tickets. “I have come to know that you (leaders and former elected members) are fighting and lobbying for tickets. You must stop this as it does not augur well for the party. You must put the party before your personal gains. I cannot be everywhere all the time and bail the party out of situations. You must also take responsibility,” he said.
In the last election, the GJM’s vote share in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong nosedived by nearly half. Recent desertions by party leaders and supporters, loss of campus election to the TMC in Bijanbari college and to the Jan Andolan Party in Kalimpong college as also the TMC making impressive inroads, have compounded matters for the hill ruling party.
“We have erred before because of which we had to suffer small losses. But we will not repeat the mistakes. We will give tickets to those candidates who are known for their social commitment and work and who have a good image in society,” Gurung said.
The GJM chief did not forget to take a dig at Mamata Banerjee claiming all recent announcements by the chief minister were merely an election stunt. “There is unemployment in the hills and youths are leaving for greener pastures. The GTA is not allowed to function properly and boards are being formed at the drop of her whim. Her promise to provide land rights to Mirik residents is just a political stunt ahead of the election,” alleged Gurung adding the TMC coming to power in the hills would mean extinction of the Gorkha language, culture, tradition and heritage.
Gurung will be in Teesta Valley on Sunday for a meeting before heading to Kalimpong to oversee election preparations there. 

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