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Gorkha vs Gorkha Tussle in Mussoorie : Godavari Thapa Thapli vs Sarika Pradhan

TOI Story
Dehradun : It is going to be an intriguing contest in the Mussoorie assembly constituency on February 15, with another woman from the Gorkha community filing her nomination as an Independent from the same seat on Friday. On Monday, the Congress party named — perhaps for the first time in Uttarakhand — a Gorkha community member, Godavari Thapa Thapli, as its candidate from the Mussoorie constituency, sending a wave of happiness among nearly 12 lakh community electorates living across the state which, otherwise, has not been much visible on the political front, thus far. Only three days later, however, another Gorkha woman, Sarika Pradhan, also jumped into the fray.Keen political observers believe the Gorkha vs Gorkha fight has potential to split the community’s votes, which may prove spoilsport for the Congress and can help the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). According to an estimate, there are nearly 30,000 Gorkha voters in the Mussoorie assembly constituency.“I joined Congress in 2002; since then, I have been working tirelessly for the party. Despite that I have been sidelined, which is completely unfair.

I have asked the party leadership to make at least five Gorkhas to contest the assembly elections, but they gave only one ticket and that too went to Thapli, who has not worked as much as I had for the constituency. I am expecting at least 60% of the voters in the Mussoorie vidhan sabha constituency to support me, which include non-Gorkhas as well,” said Pradhan, after filing her papers.However, Lt Col B S Chettri (retd), president of the Gorkhali Sudhar Sabha, one of the oldest non-political Gorkha organisations in Dehradun, said: “Pradhan has filed her papers against the wishes of many community members, who are part of our organisation. In fact, no office bearer can contest an election without resigning from the organisation, which Pradhan failed to do. 

Summary: But again, this is an observation.”Out of the total 74.95 lakh voters in the state, 1,25,413 are in the Mussoorie assembly constituency. Besides, the Congress was instrumental in the formation of the Gorkha Kalyan Parishad, which should be another reason to support the party. This may give the saffron party an edge over others in many constituencies, including Mussoorie. Devrath Joshi, younger brother of incumbent Mussoorie MLA Ganesh Joshi, told TOI: “Yes, Gorkhas are a big vote bank, but so are others. In fact, no office bearer can contest an election without resigning from the organisation, which Pradhan failed to do.

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