STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Kurseong, 5 March: Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM) today said former captain of the Indian Football team, Baichung Bhutia, is downgrading his reputation and his wonderful image, while also losing ardent fans and supporters, by joining politics.
Asked for comments on Trinamul congress picking Mr Bhutia as its candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, CPRM spokesperson Govind Chettri said they will never support TMC “even if it fields Atal Behari Vajpayee, Sonia Gandhi or Manmohan Singh as its candidate.”According to him, the CPRM will not support TMC as it is against creating a separate state of Gorkhaland. He added that Mr Bhutia is so far appreciated and loved by people of all sections in the country. “But after joining politics and joining hands with TMC, he is definitely defaming his own image, while he is sure to lose his fans and supporters,” Mr Chettri said. On the CPRM’s stand on the Lok Sabha elections, Mr Chettri said his party may take a final call on whether to field its own candidate or support others within 12 March. GJMM vice-president Pradeep Pradhan, meanwhile said Mr Bhutia is being made a scapegoat by TMC as he is an excellent footballer and a “great dancer.”
“He is, however, not a great orator,” he said. “If TMC really wanted to show respect to Mr Bhaichung Bhutia, it would have nominated him as their candidate for the Rajya Sabha instead of throwing him into politics,” Mr Pradhan said.
TMC’s decision to field Bhaichung from Darjeeling receives flak
Darjeeling, 5 Mar 2014: The announcement by the Trinamool Congress of fielding ace footballer Bhaichung Bhutia as its election candidate from Darjeeling constituency has not found takers from the political parties of the hills.
They slammed the TMC for trying to play with the sentiments of the people saying the ploy will not work.
“Under no circumstance will we support the candidate of a party that is against the formation of a state, the hill people’s age-old aspiration,” asserted Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist spokesperson Govind Chhetri.
The CPRM will formally announce its decision after a meeting of its central committee on March 11 or 12.
“We will first sit for a meeting on March 10 followed by another central committee discussion and take a decision. As of now, we have not decided on whom to field from our party or to support in the election,” said Chhetri.
Meanwhile, the All India Gorkha League went one step ahead and criticised the TMC’s choice of candidate saying it was an effort to hide the party’s shortcomings.
“Choosing Bhutia proves that the TMC does not have a capable leader to represent the party in the hills. Roping in a former footballer with affinity to the Nepali community is a shameful act and only vindicates the level the TMC can stoop to. But the ploy will not find takers,” remarked AIGL general secretary Pratap Khati when asked for his views.
The AIGL has instead decided to support Mahendra P. Lama, founder president of the Darjeeling-Dooars United Development Foundation (DDUDF), an apolitical outfit.
“We will extend all support to Lama in the election. He is a worthy and visionary leader,” said Khati.
The Communist Party of India Marxist said it will contest the election with its own ideology and candidate.
“We will not comment on the TMC’s candidate. We are a national party with pan-India policies. We will move forward with our own issues,” said Saman Pathak, the CPM candidate, a former Rajya Sabha MP from Darjeeling.
Further, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha too refused to make any comments on the TMC’s decision.
“We have nothing to comment on the TMC fielding candidate as it is that party’s decision,” said GJM general secretary Roshan Giri.
The GJM is yet to take a decision on fielding its candidate even as party president Bimal Gurung today said he will soon be going to Delhi. However, the purpose of his visit and the date has not been fixed yet, according to party sources.
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