Kolkata, Dec 31 (UiTV/IANS) – In the new year, the politics in the Darjeeling Hills of West Bengal is heading towards yet another dramatic turn as possibilities are rife that yet another change of guard is likely in Darjeeling municipality.
Just on Wednesday, Anit Thapa-led Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM)-Trinamool alliance took control of the Darjeeling Municipality following a no-confidence motion moved against the previous board controlled by Ajay Edwards’s Hamro Party.
It happened just 10 months after Hamro Party took control over the Hill municipality in the polls in February this year as six elected Hamro Party councillors joined BGPM-Trinamool Congress camp in November this year.
However, this change led to two further developments. First this change had prompted Hamro Party and Bimal Gurung-led Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) to come closer and secondly veteran hill politician and Trinamool Congress leader Binoy Tamang announcing his decision to sever all ties with his party.
Now despite remaining abstained in the no-confidence motion on Wednesday, Hamro Party, backed by GJM has decided to contest in the formal election for the Darjeeling Municipality chairman.
Although BGPM has nominated Dipen Thakuri, one of the six defecting Hamro Party councillors, as the new Chairman of the Darjeeling Municipality, he will have to prove his majority in the voting by all councillors of the municipality. Now Hamro Party-GJM combine is all set to challenge Thakuri’s claim for the chair by fielding their own candidate for the chairman’s post.
Confirming this move, the central committee spokesperson of Hamro Party, Deepu Thapa said Ajay Edwards is discussing at different levels on this count and soon the formal announcement will be made. This triggers speculation of the Hamro Party-GJM combine getting ready to give a counter-blow to BGPM-Trinamool Congress alliance by roping in a couple of councillors for the latter’s camp.
Sources said that after BGPM chief Anit Thapa nominated Dipen Thakuri, one turncoat councillor, as the new Darjeeling Municipality chairman, a number of original BGPM councillors got aggrieved. In terms of numerical strength in the 32-member Darjeeling municipality, the difference between the current ruling and opposition fronts is just one.
While the BGPM-Trinamool Congress combine has a strength of 16, the combined strength of Hamro Party and GJM is 15, while one councillor’s post is vacant. So, if just two councillors from the BGPM-Trinamool Congress front shifts camps, the equation will again change in Darjeeling municipality.