Deploy paramilitary forces in hills for polls: Trinamool

Kolkata, March 10: Taken aback by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s decision to support a BJP candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress Monday demanded deployment of paramilitary personnel in the hills to ensure free and fair polls.

Days after the Trinamool nominated former Indian soccer captain Bhaichung Bhutia as its candidate for Darjeeling, GJM chief Bimal Gurung met Bharatiya Janata Party chief Rajnath Singh in Delhi and announced his outfit’s support.

“The GJM has decided to extend full support to candidates fielded by BJP all over India and Darjeeling. I would appeal to all Gorkhas to support BJP all over India,” Gurung said on Facebook.

In a startling allegation, Gurung later said that the Trinamool had tried to use police to gain his party’s support for Bhutia.

Denying the charge, Bengal’s North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb said GJM’s stand would in no way affect Bhutia’s prospects.

“But it is our demand that the Election Commission declare all polling booths in the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling district – Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong – sensitive. The paramilitary troopers must be deplyed in strength,” he said.

IANS