Darjeeling and Dooars must be returned to Sikkim – Gorkha Rashtriya Congress

National level parties have not yet uttered anything about their stance on Darjeeling constituency although the next Lok Sabha polls are approaching quickly. However, regional parties and apolitical organisations have announced their candidates’ names and have even begun campaigning.
Darjeeling and the Dooars returned to Sikkim – GRC
If Dr. Mahendra P Lama has already announced he will contest as an independent candidate and has formed an apolitical platform called Darjeeling Dooars United Development Foundation to further his campaign, the Gorkha Rashtriya Congress too has joined the race.

GRC leaders, who have been visiting various places to gather support, today reached Kalimpong and held a press conference to disclose their poll agenda. The regional party that was formed in 2004 has not yet contested in any elections, but its objective is to showcase mass support, and has entered the election arena with a single-point agenda of ‘Sikkim-Darjeeling unification’.

Speaking to media persons, GRC president and LS candidate Nima Lama said although the Centre is positive on the unification issue, it has sought for the people’s mandate and hence the party has decided to fight the elections. “We have never participated in elections since our party’s formation. We, in fact will never contest elections within West Bengal, although we may do so from Sikkim,” Lama observed and added, “When our representatives met government officials, they assured positive action would be taken if we show them mass support. Therefore, we are contesting this election to prove this.”

Stressing that historically Darjeeling and the Dooars were never a part of Bengal, the GRC president said, “The Sikkim government must speak up. We have been demanding the return of these areas to Sikkim. These lands were merely leased out to the British by Sikkim.”

GRC leader Pravakar Blone hailed the agenda of Sikkim-Darjeeling unification as a powerful weapon in the struggle from separation from Bengal. He said, “We are not putting forward a LS candidate, but we are placing an agenda before the people who aspire for freedom from Bengal. Let the people do what they consider is the best.”

Urging the Sikkimese people not to hold pessimistic views towards their agenda, Blone said, “No one has tried to communicate the issue of unification to the Sikkim government. Questions such as what if Sikkim denies unification are being raised but that is an internal matter. The primary issue is freedom from Bengal. We know even if leaders oppose unification, the people of Sikkim will offer open arms.”


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