Kolkata, Jul, 14 - With more contestants withdrawing from the fray, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has captured the Gorkha Territorial Administrative body well ahead of the poll scheduled on July 29. Of the 45 seats, it has won uncontested on 28, while on the rest 17, it is in a friendly fight with ally Trinamool Congress.
The outcome has put a big question mark on the restoration of the democratic process in the hills, with all political outfits, barring the GJM and TMC, withdrawing themselves from the polls. It is the first time since 1999 that the people of Darjeeling are going to vote for a civic body.
The opposition parties dubbed the whole process a “farce”, claiming threats and intimidation had forced their members to pull out.
The CPM’s 13 candidates withdrew from the polls on Thursday, with senior leader Ashok Bhattcharya alleging “continuous threats and intimidation”.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was among those who congratulated the GJM on Friday. PTI