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4 May 2017

'Official' dummy candidate ... U turn by GJM

TT, Darjeeling, May 3: In a bizarre situation, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today declared the party's dummy candidate in ward 5 of Mirik as the official nominee, dumping Sandhya Waiba who had earlier been given the party ticket.
Gayatri Rai, who had filed her nomination as the dummy candidate, was declared the official candidate by Morcha president Bimal Gurung who reached Mirik yesterday to take stock of the party's preparedness in the election.
The U-turn by the Morcha speaks volumes of the party's state of affairs in Mirik where Trinamul has of late become a force to be reckoned with after the upgrade of the block to a subdivision and Mamata Banerjee's promise to grant land rights to the municipality dwellers.
Speaking over the phone from Mirik, Waiba said: "Suddenly, the party president today said he had not selected any candidate for this ward. I had been handed the party ticket by Jyoti Kumar Rai and when I wanted to nominate my own dummy candidate, the party had asked Gayatri Rai to file her nomination as a nominee. But she did not withdraw her papers."
Jyoti Kumar Rai is the assistant general secretary of the Morcha and was also the party's election observer for Mirik, along with the party's vice-president, R.P. Waiba.
Earlier, too, S.M. Ghisingh, also the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, along with other party leaders, had resigned from Morcha alleging that Jyoti Kumar was not fair in his selection.
Waiba said she had immediately resigned from the party. "I am a founding member of the party and this is a huge humiliation for me. I was even assigned the rising sun symbol which has been taken by all official candidates here (and also in other three hill municipalities.) I have resigned from the party."
Jyoti Kumar admitted that the ticket was handed to Waiba. "The ticket was handed to her but then, two other party candidates, Gayatri Rai and Lamu Sherpa, also filed their nominations. Then we had decided to keep the ward a free zone. It is today that our party president decided to declare an official candidate as we felt that votes would be divided among three Morcha candidates."

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