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Kapil catches hill fancy
- Vehicle office to start functioning in Darjeeling from Monday, says Gurung outfit

Darjeeling, Feb. 20: The Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha is out on the streets, but this time the fight is different and batons have been replaced with mobile and land telephones with victory depending on the nimble use of fingers.

Following Morcha president Bimal Gurung’s public support for Kapil Thapa — a Dehradun-based army jawan currently among the top three contestants in Indian Idol 4 — the youth wing of the party has decided to actively campaign for the singer.

“He is our community member and we have decided to drum up support for him. Besides, he now needs our votes and he is among the top three contestants. The voting lines are now open till March 1,” said Alok Kant Mani Thulung, the president of the Yuva Morcha, whose members are often seen with batons at rallies.

In this show’s format the winner is the one who, besides, his or her musical aptitude, receives the maximum number of votes cast by dialling a particular number through landline phones or by sending text messages with a particular code to a designated number.

As part of the party’s initiative to garner support for Thapa, the youth wing will be holding cultural shows from tomorrow at Chowrasta between 1pm and 5pm everyday.

“During the show, we will urge the people to vote for Thapa. Members of different communities residing in the hills will perform on different days,” said Tenzing Khambachay, one of the organisers. It is, however, not yet clear whether the Yuva Morcha will be seeking donations to buy recharge vouchers to cast votes. “If everyone votes, there should be no need to collect donations,” said Anup Subba, an executive member of the Yuva Morcha.

Local boy Prashant Tamang had been voted Indian Idol 3 in 2007 and his success was largely attributed to the Morcha president who had distributed recharge coupons as patron of the Prashant Fan Club.

Many also attribute Gurung’s networking during the campaign for Tamang as being instrumental in mobilising support against Subash Ghisingh, the GNLF chief who was then considered the supreme leader of the hills. In fact, in less than a fortnight of Tamang winning the contest, Gurung had formed the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

But unlike the last time, the response has been lukewarm this year. “We will try and increase the tempo of the campaign now,” said Thulung.

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