Siliguri, 18 February: The Independent candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency, Mahendra P Lama, today appealed to people belonging to all the communities to lend him support for the upcoming elections.
Mr Lama made this appeal at a public meeting here attended by several representatives of political parties and activists of different Hill-based organisations.
“If elected, I will work for the development of all across the ethnic spectrum without discrimination. I will raise their problems in the Parliament and would leave no stone unturned to have these rightly addressed there,” he told the gathering.
Preaching for carving out a separate state comprising Darjeeling Hills and Dooars, the academic said if formed, the state would usher in development for one and all. “I need your whole-hearted support as it would be an inclusive one, embracing all and rejecting none,” he said.
Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) official, P Arjun, who was suspended from GJMM for taking up the cause being championed by Mr Lama, also shared the dais with the academic. Interestingly, Kamtapur People’s Party (KPP), which has been demanding a separate Kamtapur state and recognition of the Kamtapur language, also sent its party representatives at the meeting.
Gorkhaland Rajya Nirman Morcha president, Dawa Pakhrin and the senior functionary of the Gorkhaland Task Force, R Moktan, were also present.
The central committee member of the Kamtapur Women Organisation, KPP’s women arm, Alati Singha said the state government had not taken any initiative for the development of the Rajbasi community.
“In the name of curbing insurgency purportedly unleashed by Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), police keep harassing the innocent people and putting them behind bars on trumped-up charges. Mr Lama embodies the aspirations of the marginalised communities across north Bengal. We are looking forward to him to show empathy for our cause,” she said.
A resident of Ghoshpukur, Ms Singha was arrested on 23 February 2013 for allegedly sheltering two suspected KLO activists. She was later released on bail. However, KPP president, Atul Roy has chosen to keep cards close to his chest on the matter of supporting the academic in the election.
“We had a discussion with Mr Lama yesterday and he assured us that, if elected, he would raise the problems of the different ethnic communities. We sent the party representatives in the meeting today, but we would meet him again before taking a final call,” he said.
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