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Gurung in GTA fray
- CPM out with 15 names

Darjeeling, July 6: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung will contest the July 29 GTA election from his native village Tukvar in Darjeeling, the party said today.

Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, today said in Singamari: “Since everyone from the party wanted our president to contest the elections and head the GTA, he has decided to contest from Tukvar.”

Later in the evening, Gurung also said: “Yes, everyone wanted me to contest, so I agreed.”

The Gorkhaland Task Force, a grouping of five Morcha rival parties, has said it will not contest the elections. ( )

Trinamul Congress has not yet clarified whether it will contest. The only significant political party so far in the contest other than the Morcha is the CPM, which announced 15 candidates from Darjeeling today.

From the Morcha, Roshan Giri, its general secretary, will contest from Sitong-Latpanchar in the Kurseong subdivision. Party vice-president Pradip Pradhan, who is from Kurseong, has been asked to contest from Darjeeling’s Poobshering-Pandam constituency.

Till yesterday, the Morcha had announced the names of 36 candidates, leaving the decision on nine more seats for today. However, the party announced names of candidates for eight seats today, leaving out the Chongtong-Marybong seat.

That announcement will happen tomorrow, but why no name was announced today for this seat is not clear.

The other candidates whose names were announced today were Arun Ghisingh (Mirik-Thrubo-Duptin), Chandra Prakash Sharma (Lava Lingsay), Prakash Gurung (Rimbick-Lodhama), Rabindra Lama (Rungbull-Dhotaria) and Sunil Pradhan, the youth president from Kalimpong has been given the ticket from Bong-Durpin constituency in Kalimpong.

Although the Morcha is expected to win most of the 45 seats comfortably, it will face CPM contests in 22, including Tukvar. The CPM will also support Independents in three seats.

During the last municipal elections in the hills, all Morcha candidates from Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong had won uncontested.

CPM leader Asok Bhattacharya announced his party’s candidates today. The seven candidates that the CPM is yet to announce would be from seats in Kalimpong and Kurseong. That will be done tomorrow.

A relatively unknown Padam Bahadur Subba will contest against Gurung from Tukvar. Anup KC of the CPM will contest against Nari Morcha chief Asha Gurung, the Morcha chief’s wife who has been fielded from Darjeeling 1.

Contesting against Binay Tamang will be Joney Mukhia of the CPM in Bloomfield Risheehat.

Morcha assistant general secretary Jyoti Kumar Rai’s CPM rival will be Biraj Subba for the Nagari-Dhajia constituency. The CPM has nominated Ramesh Chhetri from Darjeeling 2, Damber Prasad Shiwakoti from Darjeeling 3 and Ranjan Tamang from the Ghoom-Jorebunglow seat.


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