Kalimpong, March 18: The chairman of the Kalimpong Municipality, C.K. Kumai, is at the centre of a political drama even while he “bides” his time in the wings.
Kumai, a GNLF leader, has been out of town since the launch of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s successful agitation against the Sixth Schedule bill and its main architect, Subash Ghisingh. His house at Atisha Road here has been under lock and key for nearly two weeks now after his family, too, left Kalimpong.
Things took a dramatic turn yesterday when the civic chairman allegedly sent a text message to an acquaintance and claimed that he was being forcibly confined.
Kumai’s message to Prabin Man Tuladhar read: “i am surrounded n restrained n in helpless condition n being taken 2 unknown destination”.
Tuladhar, who is a neighbour of Kumai and a Morcha supporter, sounded his party colleagues. However, when eight civic commissioners owing allegiance to the Morcha approached police this evening, a different story emerged.
“We went to lodge an FIR fearing for the safety of the chairman. However, then we got to know that he was keeping in touch with his own party supporters, while remaining incommunicado with us. So we chose to lodge only a general diary,” said Norden Lama, the Kalimpong branch president of the ABGL and the commissioner of Ward 7.
Lama accused Kumai of playing hide-and-seek to fool people. Talking to The Telegraph after emerging from the police station, he said: “Kumai should resign (as civic chairman) immediately if he has any morality left in him. He, it appears, is biding his time because he knows that a no-confidence motion against his board cannot be tabled in the next five months.”
The Kumai-headed civic board had defeated a no-trust motion against it on January 24. According to rules governing municipality boards, a no-trust motion cannot be tabled within six months of the previous floor test.
Despite repeated attempts, neither Kumai nor the Kalimpong branch president of the GNLF, Dawa Pakhrin, could be contacted.