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GKYM intensifies demand for 3-tier panchayat Elections

KALIMPONG : The CPRM backed youth organisation Ganatantrik Krantikari Yuva Morcha has again intensified its demand for the three-tier panchayat elections in the hills. The GKYM central committee members submitted a deputation to Kalimpong MLA Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri to draw the attention of the state government on the issue. The GKYM general secretary Arun Ghatani said the hills have not had panchayat system for a long time, due to which the rural populace have been deprived of basic facilities and benefits provided under the system. “The lack of pancahyat system has left many people from rural areas without any benefits and they have not seen any development in their region for a long time. They do not have any representatives to take their grievances to or enjoy the benefits provided by the central government through various panchayat schemes and projects. 

This has also led to rampant corruption by government officials and other stakeholders,” Ghatani explained.
He accused the government of showing laidback attitude towards the people and development of the hills. “The Left Front rule earlier and the present Trinamool Congress governments do no differ much in their negligent attitude towards the hills,” the GKYM general secretary claimed. The GKYM leadership has urged Dr. Chettri to raise the issue in the state assembly and pressurise the government to conduct three-tier panchayat elections in the hills. The youth front has also urged the MLA to consider dissolving the current panchyat areas and reforming them. Ghatani explained the reformation is necessary with respect to the region’s geographical location, accessibility and the increasing population.

The organisation has also urged the government to add Mirik as a sub-division, in addition to the three sub-divisions currently functioning in the hills, he added. Ghatani further said, “The eight pancahyat blocks in the hills should be increased to 24 and the 122 gram-panchayat units to 160 units, following which the three-tier elections should be conducted. We will continue to press for this demand with the government until we achieve it.” Reacting to the deputation submitted by the GKYM, Dr. Chettri said the GJM has always been demanding for three-tier panchayat elections in the hills with the state government, despite the formation of the GTA. “Our demand and activities for the formation of Gorkhaland has kept us busy and have not been able to focus on it. I will however raise the issue at the state assembly and get a clear stance of the government on the issue,” Chettri promised. 

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