Mahendra P Lama filed his nomination, closed doors for tie-up with BJP-GJM

Noted academician and president of the newly floated Darjeeling-Dooars United Development Foundation, Mahendra P Lama, filed his nomination today as an Independent candidate, closing all doors for a tie-up with the BJP-GJM in Lok Sabha election 2014.

Mahendra P Lama on his way to file  his nomination as an Independent candidate
Mahendra P Lama on his way to file
his nomination as an Independent candidate

As has been seen in the last couple of days, Lama too arrived with a large entourage of supporters to file his nomination at the district magistrate office in Darjeeling.

Speaking after submitting his papers, the DDUDF president said, “I am delighted to file my nomination on behalf of the hills people. I am sure victory will be ours.”

Leaders and supporters of the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist and the All India Gorkha League, who have decided to support Lama’s candidature, also participated in the silent rally taken out by the DDUDF.

The GJM had initially snubbed Lama’s appeal for support citing that the latter had announced his candidature without making any communication. A few days ago, however, GJM president Bimal Gurung appealed to Lama to forget differences for the greater cause (of a separate state) and extend support to BJP candidate Ahluwalia, through a post on a social network page, but this was rebuffed by the DDUDF president as expected.

Asked to lay out his election campaign strategies, Lama pointed out the need of the hour was to bring about a change in people’s perceptions.

“Foremost in our six point agenda is the creation of a separate state by including the Darjeeling and Dooars regions. I have found that people are deeply frustrated and confused with the present state of affairs. But I want to tell them to forget all the past and concentrate on a new future,” the DDUDF backed independent candidate said.

Besides a separate state, other issues in DDUDF’s election manifesto include placing Darjeeling in the North East Council, ushering in a Panchayati Raj, re-opening of all international borders for trade activity, boosting of the local economy, implementing the minimum wage act in tea gardens and bringing the best educational institutions to develop the future of the youths.

Other Independent candidates who filed their nominations today were Nima Lama of the Gorkha Rasthriya Congress, which advocates the merger of Darjeeling with Sikkim, Niranjan Saha of Aamra Bangali, a Siliguri-based anti-statehood outfit, and Arun Kumar Agarwal.

BJP-GJM candidate SS Ahluwalia, meanwhile, already campaigning in the hills, today met the Lepcha community under the All India Lepcha Association banner in Darjeeling. The Lepchas have been demanding a Primitive Tribe status since 1997 along with other issues pertaining to the welfare and development of their community.


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