Millennium Post (Kolkata)

LS polls: ‘BJP failed to field local candidate, nominated outsider’


Gautam Deb, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and Mayor of Siliguri, tows the ‘outsider’ line, criticisin­g BJP’s failure to field a candidate having roots from Darjeeling (Bhumiputra) for the Lok Sabha seat. He even supported the demand raised by Bishnu Prasad Sharma, BJP MLA from Kurseong, for a ‘Bhumiputra’ candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat.

“Though Bishnu Prasad Sharma is not a factor in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituen­cy, his words are undoubtedl­y a factor. The claim he has made is reasonable,” said the TMC leader while campaignin­g for Gopal Lama, TMC candidate of Darjeeling constituen­cy. After the announceme­nt of Raju Bista as the BJP candidate for the Darjeeling LS seat, B P Sharma, MLA of Kurseong, has added to the uneasiness in the BJP camp by

an open revolt against the party. As the BJP has not fielded a Bhumiputra in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, the MLA of Kurseong declared that he will contest the seat as an Independen­t candidate against Raju Bista. Incidental­ly, Bista has his roots in Manipur. On Wednesday, Gautam Deb went to Naxalbari to campaign for TMC candidate Gopal Lama.

He campaigned in Naxalbari’s South Kotiajyot, North Kotiajyot and Deshbandhu Para. Arun Ghosh, Sabhadhipa­ti of Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad was also present during the campaign.

Amidst the campaign, Gautam Deb was asked by mediaperso­ns for his reaction to Raju Bista’s second term as candidate. In his reply, Deb stated: “Who the BJP candidate is, is not an important issue because in the past 15 years, they have not found a single local candidate among 17 lakh people. They resort to gimmicks from outside. These faces can be seen on hoardings only, they are not present in the constituen­cy.”

“We had fielded a local candidate Amar Singh Rai in the

last MP election in 2009. This time, our Bhumiputra candidate is Gopal Lama, a very polite person. He served as Siliguri Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Additional Deputy Magistrate and Joint Director of Tourism department. The Trinamool candidate will win with a huge margin in this seat,” Deb further added.

 ?? PIC/MPOST ?? Gautam Deb on the campaign trail
PIC/MPOST Gautam Deb on the campaign trail

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