GJMM Wishes To Participate In Two-Tier Panchayat Polls Despite Opposition


Darjeeling: The Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM), which had been demanding a three-tier panchyat system in Darjeeling Hills, has said if the West Bengal government goes ahead with two-tier panchayat elections, the party would think about taking part in the process despite opposition.

“Our demand for three-tier panchayat elections in the hills stands. But if the government goes ahead with election for two-tier or even one-tier panchayat system, we wish to participate in that while exploring legal measures,” GJMM supremo Bimal Gurung said here yesterday.

Gurung announced the stand after a meeting of the Morcha’s central committee.

“We want to remind that the Centre and the state government had agreed to three-tier elections earlier,” he said.

Political analysts said the GJMM’s stance stemmed from the realisation that any boycott of the panchayat elections will only weaken the party and it needs to conrest in all polls.

The Elections to gram panchayats were last held in the hills in 2000.

For the three-tier panchayat elections, a constitutional amendment is needed since in 1993, Article 243 had amended to pave way for a two-tier panchayat poll.