Amitava Banerjee | MP |19 April 2017 | Darjeeling: With April 24 being the last date of filing of nomination for the Hill municipal polls, political camps are busy announcing names of their candidates. Trinamool Congress and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha made parts of their candidate list public on Wednesday. Filing of nominations had commenced from Tuesday.
Darjeeling with 32 municipal wards; Kurseong with 20, Mirik with 9 wards and Kalimpong with 23 wards will be going to polls on May 14.
"We have announced the names of 10 candidates for the Kalimpong Municipality. Names of the remaining candidates for Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Kurseong and Mirik will be announced soon," stated N B Khawas, TMC leader. Party insiders state that the TMC list for Darjeeling could be made public on Thursday.
Incidentally, the Hills will be witnessing a triangular fight during this Municipal election with the major players being the TMC-GNLF coalition, GJM and the JAP. Kalimpong is expected to witness a very close contest with different forces and issues at play.
With the recent upgradation of Kalimpong into a district from a sub-division, a long standing demand of the people of Kalimpong, the TMC is expected to reap benefits. Even the Jan Andolan Party claims credit for the creation of the Kalimpong district as JAP had metamorphosed from the Kalimpong District Demand Committee (KDDC).
The 15 development and culture boards created by the state government with their bases in Kalimpong could work in favour of the TMC feel observers. Having entered into a coalition with the GNLF will emerge as an added advantage with the GNLF having a dedicated support base in the Hills.
The upgradation of Mirik from a block to a sub division will act to the advantage of the TMC-GNLF combine opine observers. "We will fight for civic amenities including good roads, drinking water, proper sewerage system as this is a municipal election. We will fight for development, democracy and good governance" stated Aroop Biswas, TMC observer for Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
However the GJM is a strong force to reckon with. All the previous boards of the Hill Municipalities were under the sway of the GJM.