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Trinamool fields political novice

Though Parbati Tamang was brought into politics and given a TMC ticket, the party has now left her to fight the battle alone
Hindustan Times | By Pramod Giri, Siliguri
UPDATED ON JUL 25, 2013 11:12 AM IST

She knows nothing about politics yet she is contesting the panchayat elections.

Not surprisingly, Parbati Tamang (21), the TMC candidate from Raj Phapri gram panchayat seat under Jalpaiguri’s Dabgram I gram panchayat, on Tuesday spent time attending to her three-and-a-halfyear-old son and carrying out household chores while her opponents were busy wrapping up their campaign.

Tamang is also a first-time voter.

Though she was brought into politics and given a TMC ticket, the party has now left her to fight the battle alone.

A resident of Betgera, Tamang, who is a class 8 pass-out, was made the candidate from Raj Phapri after the TMC failed to get any candidate for the seat.

Now, she is contesting against Sukmati Mukhia, an independent backed by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), and Bina Subba of the CPI(M) who was a three-time grampanchayatpradh an and was once a Jalpaiguri Zilla Parishad member.

While Mukhiaand Subba were holding meeting after meeting on Tuesday as campaigning came to a close for the final phase, Tamang was at home at Betgera.

When asked why she is sitting at home, she lamented, “How can I campaign all alone? There is no one to campaign for me and as an outsider, I do not know anyone at Raj Phapri.” She added that for a day, TMC leaders from Darjeeling hills had campaigned for her.

Tamang also said that Mukhia has an edge over Subba while she herself was nowhere in the picture.

Along with her was his sisterin-law Anu Roy Gop, the TMC candidate from Betgara-Singhijhora seat.

Gop, on the other hand, seemed confident that she would win the election.

She, however, conceded that GJM-backed independent candidate Niruta Lepcha was likely to give her a tough fight.

Arjun Chettri, the GJM-backed independent candidate from nearby Demdima seat, said that the Gorkha voters in the entire Dabgram Igrampanchay at would cast their votes against the TMC as Goutam Deb, the North Bengal development minister, had reportedly refused to accept the fact that the Gork has had played a decisive role in his victory in the 2011 assembly election.

In 2011, Deb had received overwhelming support from the voters of Raj Phapri, mostly Gorkhas.

Raj Phapri, which falls under Dabgram-Fulbari assembly constituency, has 813 voters.

The GJM had supported Deband its supporters had voted for him.

However, in this rural poll, the GJM is contesting the election to drive home its point that the Gorkhas of Terai want to be part of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.

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