The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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ABGL hurls court threat over poll date

Darjeeling, Sept. 17: The Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) is ready to move court to postpone the DGHC poll, which is scheduled to take place before November end.

The electoral rolls are being revised and the ABGL does not want the polls to be held before the draft publication of the revised rolls, scheduled for January.

Madan Tamang, the ABGL president, said today: 'We have started consulting our lawyers in Calcutta and if we do not get a favourable response in the high court, we are ready to move the Supreme Court.'

Tamang's statement follows reports that the government is considering holding the election within the scheduled date.

The council's term expired in March 2004, but it has been extended till November. Tamang does not want any further extension.

'The revision of electoral rolls is underway and we do not want the polls to be held before the draft publication of the revised rolls. This is the norm followed every where and the Election Commission has only exempted Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh in this regard and allowed them to hold polls keeping in abeyance the roll revision,' said Tamang.

Even though the state government can extend the tenure of the present council till March next year, Tamang said Subash Ghisingh, the DGHC chairman, does not deserve an extension.

'Had he been running the council according to the norms of the government, the tenure could be extended. But how can we allow this man to carry on after November,' he added, hinting at Ghisingh's failure to convene the general body meeting of the council for the past two years.

The body is supposed to take a decision on all development projects being carried out by the council. The council's inability to hold the general body meeting, according to Tamang, makes all new projects being undertaken by it illegal.

The ABGL is also demanding that the council be dissolved in November and run by an administrator till elections are held.

Observers believe that Ghisingh will face a huge moral defeat if the court rules in favour of the ABGL and asks for the dissolution of the council.

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