DDUDF to make positive headway in rural areas

Darjeeling-Dooars United Development Foundation (DDUDF) today declared of making positive headway in rural areas, while its campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls is in full progress.

Darjeeling-Dooars United Development Foundation (DDUDF)
Darjeeling-Dooars United Development Foundation (DDUDF)

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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