FROM INDIAN EXPRESS
KOLKATA: The [[All India Gorkha League]] ([[ABGL]]) today filed a petition in the Calcutta High Court seeking a stay order on the [[Gorkhaland Territorial Administration]] ([[GTA]]) election.
The [[ABGL]], in its petition, said that the [[GTA]] election is not a proper election because it is being conducted by the state hill affairs department, not by the Election Commission. Moreover, there is no reservation for women and SCs and STs in the election process, it stated.
The petitioners expect the first hearing on the issue to be held next week, said a senior ABGL leader.
Laxman Pradhan, general secretary of [[ABGL]], said, “We have submitted the petition. The election is not taking place in a democratic manner and it is not being conducted by the State Election Commission. It is being conducted by the state hill affairs department. There is no reservation for women, SCs and STs. Moreover, the election is scheduled in the rainy season, when it is very difficult for people in the hills to reach the polling booths.”
He added, “We have appealed to the high court for a stay order on the GTA election for the next seven months at least. Moreover, there is no democracy in the hills and most of the hill parties are not participating in the elections,” he added.
Meanwhile, the [[Gorkhaland Task Force]] (consisting of some non-political organisations in the hills and some anti-GJM political forces), in press statement said that the very idea of GTA is flawed.
“GTA, in fact, is a betrayal of the aspirations of all Indian Gorkhas who fervently desire the creation of [[Gorkhaland]]. The movement and the accompanying sacrifices of the people in and outside the hills have been for Gorkhaland and not for GTA. The mandates given in the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and the Assembly elections in 2011 were also only for Gorkhaland. The support garnered from Terai-Dooars and from all over India was only in the name of Gorkhaland,” reads the statement.
The first Trinamool candidate today filed nomination for the GTA polls. Rajen Mukhia, former [[GNLF]] leader who later joined Trinamool, today filed nomination in Darjeeling.
There were also reports of alleged high-handedness by GJM supporters in [[Kurseong]]. Some CPM candidates were allegedly beaten up by them.