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Cong worry over name delay

Siliguri, March 13: Congress workers across Darjeeling district are disappointed over the delay in the announcement of the party candidate’s name for the Lok Sabha seat.

As names of Shankar Malakar, the district Congress president, and Sujay Ghatak, another district leader, are doing rounds in the political circles as prospective candidates from Darjeeling, workers and leaders of the party said they were watching the match between the CPM and the Trinamul Congress. “It is nothing more than sitting and watching the match which has already commenced between Trinamul and the CPM as both parties have announced candidates and campaigning. We don’t understand why the AICC leadership is delaying the announcement for the Darjeeling seat,” a Congress leader said.

Trinamul has fielded Bhaichung Bhutia from Darjeeling. The CPM has named Saman Pathak for the seat.

“It is an open secret that our party is left with little support base in the hills. We have to bank on the plains, where we have base in all four constituencies. When the situation is tough, we find no point in the delay,” said a worker.

Workers said the party campaign had begun in some places but it lacked focus.

“The district president has held rallies and meetings but without the candidate’s name it is tough to carry out campaigns. In the villages, Trinamul and CPM supporters are scoffing at us saying we could not find a candidate. We have no other option but to bear it,” said a Congress worker.

“Our party is weighing the pros and cons before taking a final decision as whether a Gorkha or a non-Gorkha would be fielded,” said an insider.

When asked about the prospective candidate, Malakar said: “We are hopeful of some announcement by tomorrow. Our party does not feel that there would be any effect because of the delay. We are already campaigning and we would intensify it soon.”