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CIMA Gallary

Hill dozen uncontested

July 9: Twelve Gorkha Janmukti Morcha candidates have emerged uncontested in the GTA polls on the last day of filling nominations.

After scrutiny of their papers, they would be declared winners on Wednesday evening.

With the hill party hopeful of winning 12 of the 45 GTA seats, the leadership is now eyeing the magic figure of 23, which would ensure its majority even before polling takes place in the hills.

The nominations would be scrutinised tomorrow and candidates can withdraw from the contest by 3pm on Wednesday.

“Nine Morcha candidates from Darjeeling and three from Kalimpong are uncontested so far. The final figure of those who have won can only be declared after the last day of withdrawal of nominations,” said Saumitra Mohan, the district magistrate of Darjeeling.

Morcha spokesperson and Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri said the party was happy with the start.

“Twelve of 45 is not a bad start. We are confident that in the next few days the number of our candidates winning uncontested will double,” he said.

Although the hill-based political parties such as the CPRM and the ABGL have decided to boycott the GTA elections, the decision of the CPM and the Trinamul Congress to contest has ensured that the Morcha sees a contest in some seats, however feeble.

While the Morcha has fielded candidates in all 45 seats, the CPM is contesting for 13 seats and Trinamul has decided to fight from 18 seats.

Milan Dukpa, Trinamul’s candidate from Ghoom-Jorebunglow constituency in Darjeeling said: “We are confident of putting up a good show and we have also decided to support two independent candidates.”