Gurung not yet decided on contesting GTA election



Darjeeling: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung is yet to decide whether to contest the election to the newly-formed Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, though he is not very keen on holding any administrative post.

GJM sources said several senior leaders, including the party's general secretary Roshan Giri, had told Gurung that his absence would turn the GTA into a non-starter and wanted him to head the autonomous set-up.

Gurung, however, said he would personally choose the candidates. The list of candidates is likely to be published on July 5.

Giri said his party had decided to take part in the election to bring about development and peace in the hills.

On the other hand, Trinamool Congress candidates are likely to file nomination on July 9, sources in the Darjeeling District Magistrate's office said.

The CPI-M, which has lost its influence in the hills over the years, has not yet decided on participating in the election.

K B Watter, a prominent leader of the party, said his party would take a final call on July 4.

"Our cadres are worried about their safety if they take part in the elections," he said.

Other hill forces CPRM (Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists) and ABGL (Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League) will meet on the same day to finalise their stand.

PTI