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Trinamul’s hill survey

Siliguri, June 26: The Trinamul Congress will conduct a survey across 45 constituencies of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) to know the party’s strengths and weaknesses for the elections on July 29.

The instruction to hold the survey was given by the Darjeeling district Trinamul at a meeting attended by around 50 party workers from the hills here today.

“Workers from the hills were asked to conduct a survey and do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis in all 45 GTA seats. They will talk to residents of each constituency and find out the party’s prospects in the elections,” said Saumitra Kundu, the general secretary of the Darjeeling district Trinamul committee.

The announcement of the survey was made within 24 hours of a notification being issued for the GTA elections. Trinamul had recently made a foray into the hills by inducting disgruntled workers of other parties into its fold.

The new entrants into Trinamul had claimed that they were in a position to contest in 30 of the 45 seats. However, sources in the party today said north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb would decide on the seats where Trinamul would field candidates.

“The minister is out of station and he will reach here on June 30. He will speak on the party’s plan for the GTA polls, like the number of seats to be contested and the prospective candidates,” said Kundu.

Deb is the district Trinamul president as well as the chairman of the party’s core committee in north Bengal.

Asked if the proposed meeting between Morcha chief Bimal Gurung and Mamata Banerjee would have a bearing on the party’s plans, Kundu said: “Workers in the hills have been instructed to prepare for the polls and devise a strategy. We are aware that Morcha leaders will meet the chief minister within two-three days. If any new political equation develops then, we will change our decisions and plans.”

Today’s meeting — held in the conference hall of the north Bengal development department — also discussed prospective names for the posts of presidents and secretaries of Trinamul’s eight block committees in the hills.

Kundu also said the party would constitute a 15-member panel comprising eight block presidents in the hills and seven members of the district committee to work in the GTA area. “The new committee will oversee the polls. It will be above the block committees and under the district committee,” he added.