PRADIP LOHAGUN, KALIMPONG, 11 Mar 2014: The CPM’s Darjeeling constituency candidate, Saman Pathak, today attended a party meeting at Jagannath Dharamshala in Kalimpong announcing the start of his electoral campaign. He said the main aim of his party is to permanently resolve the problems surrounding the Darjeeling hills and an amendment of the Sixth Schedule is the only way to end all such issues.
“An amended Sixth Schedule will include SC, minorities, and the common man and guarantee all of them constitutional safeguard,” he stressed.
Pathak said the CPM has always stood for strong autonomous governance of the hills and such an autonomous body should be constituted as per the 244th amended Sixth Schedule.
The CPM candidate said, “The problems of the Darjeeling hills are political and should be resolved politically. The ruling Trinamool Congress has always tried to suppress the voice of the common people by force, while the central government is only looking for personnel benefits when dealing with the hills. Now, the CPM will take progressive steps for a long-term settlement of all the thorny issues.”
Pathak added the Darjeeling hills should be included in the North East council as it fully meets the criteria required. Further, to make the voice of the hills heard at the national level, a representative from Darjeeling should be included in the Centre’s planning commission, he noted. He also tabled a proposal to make the Darjeeling hills a tax free region.
Hitting out at TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, Pathak accused her of resorting to power politics to suppress the voice of the masses, and stressed the CPM would never deploy the CRPF as it always holds the people’s voice in high esteem.
Further, the CPM candidate said all Gorkhas settled in various parts of the country should come together as a language minority to find a solution to their identity issue. “The Gorkha people should urge the government to make them a language minority as everyone will get equal benefits once the status is achieved,” he said.
Pathak also slammed BJP MP Jashwant Singh and said, “In his five-year tenure as MP of the constituency, he did nothing for the benefit of the people and instead chose to sit silently during parliamentary sessions.”
He claimed that during his tenure as MP in the Rajya Sabha, he participated in 31 debate sessions related to issues concerning Darjeeling, but Singh took part in just two of the 18 debates held during his term.
CAPTION: Saman Pathak during his campaign on Tuesday.
Text and Photo by: EOI
522 total views, 2 views today