STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Kurseong, 7 July
Finally, with gossip and speculations rife, the former vice-chancellor of the Sikkim University and present Pro Vice-Chancellor of IGNOU Mr Mahendra P Lama, declared and have decided to contest the coming Lok Sabha 2014 elections as an Independent candidate from the Darjeeling constituency.
Notably, for the past several months, there had been different conjectures in the Hills that Mr Lama is going to form a new party.
It has also been learnt that most of the Hill people have welcomed his stance even if it is a mere speculation, and has been clamouring for a person of his caliber to guide them in the pursuit of their paramount aspiration of a separate state of Gorkhaland.
Amidst speculation, Mr Mahendra P Lama, while addressing a Press conference in Kalimpong yesterday, broke the ice and announced that he would indeed enter the the Lok Sabha 2014 election fray as an Independent candidate.
While addressing the Press, he said he has decided to enter the electoral fray to solve the many problems that Darjeeling Hills has and to carry its ideas to its right place.
He noted that he could have easily entered the election arena as a candidate of any National Party or even a regional one, but he felt that the best way to carry any work forward would be as an Independent candidate.
He added that he has not announced himself as an Independent candidate because he does not like one political party or the other but to take the unsolved issues of the places to its appropriate destination.
Mr Lama also said that he would request all political parties in the region to seek a “Consensus” candidate. When asked if he is opening a new political party, he said that he has not opened one and have not thought about it.
The GJMM senior leader, Mr Binay Tamang, said anyone can stand for the election and we have nothing to do against it.
When asked if their party would request Mr Lama to stand as a GJMM candidate, he said that presently they are busy with the Panchayat elections and Lok Sabha is quite a far off topic. "Hence, it is an immature matter to comment on," said Mr Tamang.
On the other hand, the CPRM spokesperson Mr Govind Chettri, said: "The initiative taken by Mahendra P Lama for the cause of the paramount demand of the people of Darjeeling is appreciable, but presently the Lok Sabha election is too early to comment on."