KKKS protests exclusion of Darj and Kpg from panchayat polls

Kalimpong, 01 Apr.

Kalimpong and Darjeeling districts have been kept out of the panchayat election process announced for West Bengal, and this has not gone down well with a section of the people and their organisations here. It has now been 18 years since Panchayat elections were held in the Hills.

The Kalimpong Krishak Kalyan Sangathan has rued that voices of marginalised farmers which could have been heard during these elections, will remain unaddressed since the Hills are not enlisted for panchayat elections.

KKKS said that they will take the matter to the Supreme Court and even take to the streets to protest this move of the Trinamool Congress Government.

The Sangathan further claimed that they received a letter from the Chairman of the Petition Committeeof the Rajya Sabha, Prabhat Jha, a month ago extending support to their demand for panchayat elections in the Hills as soon as possible.

However, the Hills are not mentioned in the panchayat election process.

Bishnu Chettri, general secretary of the Sangathan, said that keeping the Hills away from such an important election was a violation of the provisions of the Constitution.

“Neglecting Darjeeling and Kalimpong shows their (West Bengal government’s) outlook towards the hills; moreover, we cannot ignore the fact that the voice of the villagers is very important,” he stressed.

He went so far as to say that the Panchayat elections in the rest of West Bengal should be called off if Darjeeling and Kalimpong are left out of the process.