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Darjeeling set for close poll fight.

FOR the GJM- backed BJP candidate S. S. Ahluwalia in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency, the disillusionment of various ethnic communities in the hills over the Gorkhaland statehood agitation and anti- incumbency factor come as bad news.

The representatives of Sherpa, Rai, Tamang, Lepcha, Limboo communities have voiced their concern against the way in which Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supremo Bimal Gurung has been leading the Gorkhaland movement.

Moreover, the plot has become complex with the entry of former vice- chancellor of Sikkim Manipal University Mahendra P. Lama in the poll fray. A local, Lama is contesting as an Independent candidate. In the 2009 general election, the GJM held sway in the three assembly segments in the Hills - Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong while the CPI( M) had the upper hand in four other seats in the plains -- Matigara- Naxalbari, Siliguri, Phansidewa and Chopra.

"Since Independence, we have only seen political anarchy -- first by the Gorkha League, then by Subhas Ghising- led Gorkha National Liberation Front ( GNLF) and now by the GJM. This will not continue any further," Khambu Rai Youth Organisation president Arpan Rai said.

He said the issue for them in the Lok Sabha poll is not Gorkhaland, but to uproot Gurung and his associates from the region.

"And for that, all Rai groups have joined hands with the GNLF which is openly supporting Trinamool," he claimed.

Another ethnic community, Tamang, has already indicated its support to Trinamool Congress' candidate Baichung Bhutia. The Sherpas are also unhappy the way the GJM has led the Gorkhaland movement after relegating the GNLF to the sidelines.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Apr 15, 2014
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