Gurung advice for new civic body incumbents

DARJEELING
19 May 2017

Admitting Mirik to be a surprise defeat, Bimal Gurung today tried to turn the failure into a positive tied; terming the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha as the primary opposition party that had managed to stop the TMC juggernaut in Bengal.
The TMC steamrolled the Congress-Left combine and the BJP in Raigunj, Domkal and Pujali and ate up into the GJM base in Mirik, in the foothills. However, the GJM retained Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong municipalities, in the recently concluded Bengal civic elections.
Today the GJM president while interacting with the party’s candidates who had contested in the May 14 elections said, “The TMC used the state machinery and muscle power to subdue mainstream parties in the plains (Raigunj, Domkal and Pujali). Bombs were hurled and TMC rowdies threatened voters. However, it is only in the hills that they (TMC) could not do anything. This shows that we (GJM) are the number one opposition party against the TMC in Bengal”.
Not giving hints of disappointment on losing Mirik to the TMC, Gurung asked the losing candidates to take positives out of the loss, citing his own experience as a councilor in the GNLF regime. “It is good to stumble sometime as it helps us learn and rectify our mistake and failures. I myself lost twice during my time with the GNLF. But, on the third attempt as an independent candidates I won and became a councilor,” he said.
Gurung today made the winning candidates from all the four hills municipalities take an oath to abide and follow the principles and policies of the party and made them sign an agreement. The agreement had a fourteen point agenda related to various civic works, to be undertaken by the new incumbents in the next five years.
The signing of the agreement and taking of oath stems from the fact that in the run up to the polls, the GJM led four civic bodies faced resentment among people for non performance which the TMC failed to take advantage of. “In the last five years, we did not do a good job.
Councilors indulged in nepotism. People were angry but have given us a second chance. Now we must not repeat the mistakes and work really hard the municipalities better and reach out to people to solve their problems,” Gurung said.
Gurung also talked tough on councilors lobbying for the post of the municipality chairman and vice chairman and said such recommendations would be dealt with firmly. “I will not accept any lobby or recommendations for chairman and vice chairman or for that matter any other posts. If such things happens than those candidatures will be nullified for good. I will decide and personally hand out envelope with the names,” he warned, today.
For the Darjeeling municipality, D.K.Pradhan, the winning candidate from ward 10 has however been chosen as the chairman. Pradhan is the GJM Darjeeling sub-division president and had held the post of chairman for three terms with the GNLF and was also an MLA.
Gurung said ward committees would be formed in all the wards of the four civic bodies comprising nine members to recommend development works. He also said ward offices would be made operational in the wards to facilitate official works like getting birth and death certificates for the people. “People expect small and not big things from us. They don’t want harassment or cumbersome time taking process.
Through the ward offices we will facilitate citizen’s official work,” he said.
The GJM leader also announced the party would organize victory rallies in Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong on May 21, 22 and 23, respectively but said for Mirik a date would be fixed soon. (EOIC)