KURSEONG, 23 Feb 2014: Academician and independent Lok Sabha candidate from Darjeeling constituency, Dr. Mahendra P Lama today said the 30th state of the county should include Terai, Dooars and the Darjeeling hills consisting of all the communities residing in the respective areas.
Dr. Lama, made the statement today on the sidelines of a public meeting organized at the Monteviot Ground in Kurseong today under the banner of the Darjeeling Dooars United Development Forum, (DDUDF), an apolitical organization.
Addressing the meeting, he said the way in which a separate state of Telangana was formed, it has been clearly established that no permission is needed from the concerned state government for separation. According to Dr. Lama a new state can be achieved with the help and the inclusion of all communities residing in the areas proposed by him for the separate state,
In his speech, Dr. Lama criticized the activities of the GJM and its leadership, without mentioning their names. He said, “In the pretext and different claims of development, some people have been misleading us. Development is after all the right of the people.”
He further said the people should be aware and alert, because several conspiracies have been made to divide the people of the hills on different aspect. Many people have been frequently visiting the hills these days making false claims, he added without naming anyone.
Mr. Lama also informed the public regarding the different facilities and schemes of the central government and also expressed his views and plans on various sectors.
CAPTION: Dr. Mahendra P Lama addressing a public meeting in Kurseong on Sunday.
‘New state’ will include all communities: Lama
‘30th state of the county will be formed with Terai, Dooars and Darjeeling’
Statesman News Service
Kurseong, 23 February: Independent Lok Sabha candidate from the Darjeeling constituency, Mahendra P Lama today predicted the 30th state of the county will be formed with areas including the Terai, Dooars and Darjeeling Hills-an inclusive state embracing all the ethnic diversities living there.
Mr Lama was responding to queries put forth by reporters after a public meeting he addressed at the Monteviot Ground in Kurseong. The programme was organised under the banner of the Darjeeling Dooars United Development Forum (DDUDF), an apolitical organisation.
Addressing the meeting, he said the manner in which a separate state of Telangana was okayed recently goes on to show that the state concerned need not be consulted while forming a separate state.
“Not only the Gorkha community, but the Bhutias, Lepchas, Rajbanshis, Biharis, Marvaris, Bengalis and all others will be included in such a way that all of them develop a sense of belonging to the state that would come up in due course,” Mr Lama said.
In his speech, he slammed GJMM, saying that they are misleading the common people on the pretext of development.
Without naming anyone, he said people must be aware and remain alert as “several conspiracies are being hatched to divide us on different aspects.”
Notably, the administration did not allow the use of loudspeakers in the meeting as the Madhyamik examinations begins tomorrow.
A small battery-operated hand-speaker was used instead.
DDUDF claims of making rapid inroads
Seeks political support for polls
Darjeeling, 22 Feb 2014: Newly-formed apolitical body Darjeeling-Dooars United Development Foundation today claimed of making positive headway in rural areas, while its campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls is in full progress.
Addressing media persons today in Darjeeling, independent candidate and DDUDF founder Mahendra P Lama said, “Our campaign has covered more than 40 per cent of rural areas and we have received a positive response from the people. We have reached out to people and areas where even the Gorkha National Liberation Front had failed to make a foothold. We have held 96 public meetings so far as part of our election campaign.”
The foundation’s main election agenda is the achievement of statehood, establishment of a three-tier panchayat system, introduction of central government projects in the hills and reopening of trade routes.
“There are lots of things to be done in the hills. An important issue that I want to take up is of placing Darjeeling in the North East Council as doing so will reap huge benefits to the region. We will also strive for tax exemptions and development of educational institutes for students,” said Lama.
The DDUDF also has a separate agenda for the tea gardens in the hills and it includes the implementation of the Minimum Wages Act, value addition in tea, part of the Kolkata Auction Centre to be shifted to Siliguri and placing Darjeeling tea in the World Heritage list.
Further, the foundation will take up the demand for providing tea garden workers with shares of profits instead of the current system of distributing bonuses.
The DDUDF today also appealed to the people to contribute to its election campaign. Contributions will be accepted from any place within India and also from NRIs. Lama revealed he has sought support from political parties of the hills including the GJM, CPM, GNLF, CPRM and the TMC.
He said, “I want to work for the people and develop the region. For this, I will need the support of not only the people but also political parties.”
When reminded about the GJM’s public rejection of his candidature, Lama replied, “I have come to know only through newspapers about the GJM’s refusal to support me. But I am expecting a written reply as I have requested its support in a formal way.”
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