The Telegraph
Monday , October 8 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Drivers join Trinamul

- Over 500 Terai supporters quit hill party alleging failure to address ‘daily issues’
The crowd at the Morcha’s foundation day celebrations in Darjeeling on Sunday. Picture by Suman Tamang

Siliguri, Oct. 7: Over 500 members of the Janmukti Terai Chalak Sangathan, a drivers’ organisation of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, joined Trinamul-backed INTTUC today alleging that the hill party had failed to address their “daily issues”.

The men who drive light vehicles from the plains to the hills and back joined the INTTUC at a programme in Methibari along NH55 this afternoon.

“It has already been proved that after 34 years of oppression, people have started to understand their rights under the present state government. Over 500 drivers from the Terai, who had so far been deprived of their rights, joined INTTUC today. From now on, we will work together and try to sort out their problems,” said Arupratan Ghosh, the Darjeeling district president of the INTTUC.

Sabin Thapa, the former general secretary of the Sangathan, said despite supporting Morcha for years, they were still being harassed every day, which is why they have joined Trinamul. “Our organisation was established three years back and since then, our members have been actively supporting the Morcha. But over the past few months, we have realised that the party has failed to address our problems and has not taken up issues like reopening of NH55, which is closed for over two years. Drivers from the plains are not allowed to park vehicles in Darjeeling. No step has been taken by the Morcha to address these daily issues,” said Thapa.

He added that the hill party has not taken “any effective steps” for them even after the formation of the GTA. “We thought things would improve once GTA was formed. While the chief minister is putting relentless efforts to improve the infrastructure in the hills and the plains, the Morcha has not taken any effective step so far,” said Thapa.