Elected TMC candidates fail to attend swearing-in ceremony

29 May 2017

For the TMC, Mirik has become the focal point became evident today with the party’s elected candidates from Darjeeling and Kurseong failing to turn up for the oath taking ceremony in the respective civic body today. All the candidates were instead asked to attend the swearing-in at Mirik where senior TMC ministers were present.
The TMC created history by being the first mainstream political party to form the board in Mirik. Out of the nine wards, the TMC won six seats while the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha only got three.
In Darjeeling the TMC managed to win only from ward 31, while in Kurseong the party bagged three seats (wards 11, 12 and 15).
However TMC leaders from the hills chose to down-play the obvious absence of its winning candidates in the swearing-in ceremony in the two civic bodies. “It was not a conscious effort on our part to skip the oath taking ceremony in Darjeeling and Kurseong. All our party candidates were asked to attend the ceremony in Mirik municipality,” said N.B. Khawas, the hills TMC working president when asked for his view.
The TMC leader reasoned that elected candidates could take oath on other days in presence of the sub-divisional officer. “It is just a matter of receiving a certificate which can be done in the SDO office.
There is nothing much to be read (on the absence),” Khawas said. Darjeeling SDO, Avik Chatterjee, too, responded with similar sentiments. “There is provision in the Municipality act for elected candidates to take oath and receive certificates on other days in the SDO office. But this can be done only within sixty days. In fact, today even a GJM candidate from ward 13 did not attend the oath taking ceremony,” he said.
In Mirik, state ministers Aroop Biswas (PWD) and Gautam Deb (tourism) were present for the oath taking ceremony which was held in the premises of the Mirik municipality. Soon after, the TMC ministers also participated in a victory rally organized by local TMC leaders.
Biswas said chief minister Mamata Banerjee would visit Mirik on June 4 and announce development projects for the foothill region. “We are happy that people have given us a chance to work for them. We will keep the promises that we made before the election. Our chief minister will be coming to Mirik to announce development projects,” the PWD minister said.
The three elected GJM candidates, escorted by slogan shouting supporters attended the oath taking ceremony.
L.B. Rai, was unanimously elected the new chairman of the Mirik civic body and M.K. Tamang, the vice chairman. “Me and my team will work to usher development and make Mirik into a better tourist destination. I will also pursue with my party to ensure that the promise of land right by our chief minister is implemented at the earliest,” he said.
Rai was also the chairman for three terms when he was associated with the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) party. “
On the other hand, D.K. Pradhan who won from ward 10 was made the chairman of the Darjeeling municipality formed by the GJM party.
Pradhan was also the municipality chairman and MLA under the GNLF before he switched over to GJM. “My immediate priority will be to make Darjeeling better and beautiful. I will approach the state government and also the hill council body to implement new projects and also to upgrade Darjeeling municipality into a corporation,” he said.
In the Kurseong municipality which is also formed by the GJM party, elected candidates Krishna Limbu and Brigen Gurung were made the chairman and vice chairman, respectively.
The swearing-in ceremony for the Kalimpong municipality which is formed by the GJM will take place on Wednesday, government sources said. (EOIC)