122 candidates file nominations for GTA polls

July 10th, 2012 - 12:02 am ICT by IANS  

Darjeeling, July 9 (IANS) A total of 122 candidates have filed nominations for the July 29 election to the 45-member Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), the new body for governing the Darjeeling hills in northern West Bengal, officials said.

A total of 63 nominations were filed on Monday, the last day of filing nominations, the authorities said.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is contesting all the seats. The state’s ruling Trinamool Congress has put up candidates in 18 seats.

The GJM candidates are the only contestants in nine seats in Darjeeling sub-division and three in Kalimpong.

The last date for withdrawal of nomination is July 12.

The three picturesque Darjeeling hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kurseyong and Kalimpong have been on the boil for nearly three decades due to anti-government protests over the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. The hills had witnessed killings, police crackdowns and long shutdowns which severely impacted the hills’ economic mainstays - tea, timber and tourism.

On July 18 last year, a tripartite agreement was signed between the GJM, and the state and central governments for setting up a new autonomous,e lected GTA, a hill council armed with more powers than its predecessor, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) formed in the late 1980s.

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