Bhaichung blessed by Lepcha support

Kalimpong April 10: Expected and speculated in the political circles of the hills, the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association (ILTA) Thursday extended its support to TMC candidate Bhaichung Bhutia that could put things for the GJM-BJP alliance in jeopardy.

Bhaichung and Mamata Bannerjee
Bhaichung and Mamata Bannerjee

Attended by Lepchas from across the hills, the association today held a public rally to announce its support in presence of North Bengal Development minister Gautam Deb and Bhaichung himself. Though the meeting was organized by the ILTA, with Lepchas wearing TMC cap predicted that the meet was of the TMC itself. The member from the Tamang youth association also attended the meet.

“We will support the TMC candidate Bhaichung Bhutia as a return gift to the state government for forming the Myang Lyang Lepcha Development Council earlier in September last year,” announced Dorjee T. Lepcha, the president of the association. “It was only after TMC took charge of the state we saw justice coming our way,” he added appealing other communities too to vote for Bhutia.

The ILTA has been fighting for its rights and wants introduction of Lepcha language in the schools of the hills. The association claims to have 30 percent of the hills population. Interestingly after the formation of the council in September 2013, other communities like the Tamangs has also demanded a similar board to which the state government has given a nod. The Tamangs claim to have over 3 lakh population in the hills.

Addressing the gathering Dev however said that Bhutia will win by a margin of 5 lakhs. Bhutia who thanked the Lepcha for their support however said that he is up in politics to promote honest politics and vowed to be honest. “The GJM is using public money meant for development during election campaign. There is a lot of work to be done in the hills. The road condition is pathetic, there is perennial shortage of water, education has taken a hit and unemployment is on the rise,” he alleged, promising that he would want to address these issues if elected.

Vivek Ghatani Editor Indian Gorkhas

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