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21 Apr 2017

This election, Darjeeling's commoners want to run elections, raise vox populi

Amitava Banerjee |MP | 20 April 2017 | Kolkata:A section of concerned citizens of Darjeeling want to reestablish the lost glory of the Queen of the Hills and for this, they want to reclaim the Municipality. Rather than sitting and complaining about the deplorable state of affairs in the town, they have decided to come forward to contest the forthcoming civic elections to make the town a better place to live in.

The motley crew consists of a home maker, business people and retired government official. "Once upon a time Darjeeling was a town known throughout the world. The town had been bestowed the title - Queen of the Hills. The Darjeeling Municipality was a major contributing factor to this glory. In the early days, even after independence, the Councillors who used to be known as Commissioners were nominated and not elected. The city fathers were men and women of good standing in society. They were doctors, engineers, educated people who wanted to do something for society. Sadly over the years all this has changed with politics creeping into the Municipality," lamented

"Once upon a time Darjeeling was a town known throughout the world. The town had been bestowed the title - Queen of the Hills. The Darjeeling Municipality was a major contributing factor to this glory. In the early days, even after independence, the Councillors who used to be known as Commissioners were nominated and not elected. The city fathers were men and women of good standing in society. They were doctors, engineers, educated people who wanted to do something for society. Sadly over the years all this has changed with politics creeping into the Municipality," lamented Ajoy Edwards, proprietor of the iconic eatery Glenary's.

His wife Namrata Edwards has decided not to sit back and complain. She has decided to come forward and try to change things. "Drinking water is such a problem. Our life has gone by sitting and hoping that someday things will improve and the town will get adequate drinking water. I have decided to contest elections as an independent candidate. Wining or losing does not matter. It will at least send a signal that we have to come forward and mend things," stated 44-year-old Namrata Edwards, a homemaker and a mother of five talking to Millennium Post. Notably, Namrata has been involved in philanthropic activities since long.

The Darjeeling Municipality founded in 1950 is one of the oldest civic bodies in the country. Anil Gupta always advices his wife not to drink water when she goes shopping in town lest she has to use a toilet. "Most of the public toilets of the town have disappeared. The remaining are so dirty that one always has a strong chance of catching infection. I want to contest elections as an independent to bring about small changes but changes that are important for a decent life, an everyday necessity. I want a gift a beautiful Darjeeling-the Darjeeling of yesteryears to my children," stated 45-year-old Anil Gupta, a businessman.

The remaining are so dirty that one always has a strong chance of catching infection. I want to contest elections as an independent to bring about small changes but changes that are important for a decent life, an everyday necessity. I want a gift a beautiful Darjeeling-the Darjeeling of yesteryears to my children," stated 45-year-old Anil Gupta, a businessman.

Dharmendra Poddar, also a businessman wants to see a politics-free Municipality. "I want a politics-free Municipality. A municipality that will work for everyone. The municipality should be run by social workers and not politicians. I have got a nomination form and am thinking of contesting as an independent," stated 43-year-old Poddar.

There are others too who are requesting to contest as independent candidates hoping to restore the lost glory of the town. However, they have preferred to remain in the backdrop till they file their nominations.

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