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DDUDF happy with LS election performance : Mahendra P. Lama

Darjeeling : Buoyed by its candidate’s showing in the just concluded Lok Sabha election, the Darjeeling –Dooars United Development Foundation (DDUDF), an apolitical organisation, is keen to make the most and garner people’s support for the separate state demand. Noted academician Dr. Mahendra P Lama, who is the founding president of the DDUDF, had contested the LS election as an Independent and garnered a surprising 55,070 votes in his maiden outing. He was up against the likes of BJP’s GJM supported candidate, Surendra Singh Ahluwalia, CPIM’s Saman Pathak, who is a former Rajya Sabha member and crowd favourite Bhaichung Bhutia from the Trinamool Congress (TMC). In a press note issued to media houses today, the office of the founding trustee of the DDUDF while evaluating the election results pointed out, “The rise of the DDUDF from a not in November 2013 to getting over 55,000 votes in April 2014 clearly indicates the people of this constituency have now started looking for a much more reliable, honest, effective and durable alternative organization. 

This means the foundation with its avowed principle of ‘zero enemy’ is going to be a solid force to reckon with in the future.” The DDUDF congratulated Ahluwalia for his win and for becoming the new representative of the people of the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency in Parliament. The party also congratulated the BJP for forming the Government in the centre. But, the foundation also stated in the next five years, it will make it a point to persuade and cajole and coax the elected candidate to work for the people and fulfil all the promises, including that of a separate state of Gorkhaland, which was assured ahead of the elections. After the results were announced on Friday, Lama had personally congratulated Ahluwalia and at the same time said it would not be a cake walk for the new MP. “We will make the MP accountable to the people of the Hills and not let him to enjoy and pass the precious five years without any contribution and service, like the other MPs before. We will watch, check and ensure the elected candidate delivers and fulfils his promises,” the Independent candidate had told reporters. 

Unlike previous elections, this time it was a tight walk for the GJM who tied-up with the BJP. Situation was also not conducive for the TMC who joined force with the GNLF and the CPIM party who went alone in the election. Compounding the number equations for these parties was DDUDF’s Lama, who during the campaign period had attracted substantial crowd and was pegged to be the game changer. Moreover, Dr. Lama also garnered support from pro-statehood regional parties like the CPRM, AIGL and the Gorkha Rajya Nirman Morcha (GRNM) and social, cultural and religious organizations including the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (BGP). The foundation in their press statement also alleged the GJM and GNLF had betrayed and sold the statehood demand to political parties which had nothing to do with the aspiration and hopes of the people. The DDUDF who is functioning as an apolitical outfit is expected to dive full-fledged into mainstream politics of the Hills in the coming days.

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