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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Panchayat elections: Ajoy Edwards counters Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha's ‘mind game’

Many people believe BGPM played perception politics when it felicitated last Thursday 61 party candidates who won rural elections uncontested in the run-up to July 8 polls

Vivek Chhetri Darjeeling Published 26.06.23, 05:00 AM
Ajoy Edwards.

Ajoy Edwards. File photo

Hamro Party candidates for the panchayat elections were herded to Darjeeling from across the region on Saturday, two days after rival Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) organised a “victory celebration” in Darjeeling.

Many believe the BGPM played perception politics when it felicitated last Thursday 61 party candidates who won the rural elections uncontested in the run-up to the July 8 polls.

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On Saturday, to counter that perception that the BGPM has the upper hand, Ajoy Edwards, the president of Hamro Party, thundered: “That (candidates winning uncontested) is not called victory. It is called theft.” Edwards was addressing Hamro Party candidates for the rural polls at Gorkha Dukha Niwarak Sammelan Hall in Darjeeling.

Edwards alleged that many BGPM leaders threatened rural voters with a “no development” plank to force Opposition candidates to withdraw from the fray.

Hamro Party president Ajoy Edwards with his party’s panchayat poll candidates at Darjeeling on Saturday.

Hamro Party president Ajoy Edwards with his party’s panchayat poll candidates at Darjeeling on Saturday. The Telegraph

The BGPM is in control of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, the hill body responsible for development activities in the region.

“That (uncontested seats) is all they will win. The silent majority will ensure our victory on July 8,” said Edwards in Darjeeling.

Hamro Party has joined hands with the BJP, Bimal Gurung’s Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the GNLF to take on the BGPM, an unofficial alliance of Trinamul.

“It is clear that Edwards istrying to neutralise theBGPM’s event. It is all about mind games as Edwards wants to send a message to people that Opposition parties are very muchin the contest,” said an observer.

There are 879 gram panchayat seats and 232 panchayat samiti constituencies in the GTA area.

The BGPM is focusing on the BJP’s “trampling” on regionalism.

The Opposition allies are centring their campaign on the BGPM’s “corruption” in the hills.

The BJP has fielded the most number of candidates among the Opposition allies in the rural polls in the hills.

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