Kalimpong civic chief resigns

The Telegraph

Kalimpong, July 31: GNLF leader and the chairman of the Kalimpong Municipality, C.K. Kumai, and his deputy, Karna Hang Subba, have resigned from their respective posts and as councillors, ending a six-month impasse at the civic body.

Another GNLF councillor, Aditya Rai, has also resigned from his seat. The trio submitted their resignations in separate letters addressed to the board of councillors.

“We received the letters last night where they have also mentioned that they are resigning from the GNLF,” said Norden Lama, a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader and councillor of Ward 7.

However, the trio will cease to be councillors only after their resignations are accepted by the civic board, which is expected to meet in the next couple of days.

“Ideally, the chairman himself should call the board meeting, but if he fails to do so, the district magistrate can summon it,” said P.T. Sherpa, the subdivisional officer of Kalimpong.

With the three resignations, the total strength of the board has been reduced to 20. Fourteen of them owe allegiance to the Morcha. Sources said the remaining six councillors have also from the GNLF, but not from the municipality.

Kumai’s resignation ends a six-month-long drama that began after his board defeated a no-confidence motion on January 24.

Although in the next few weeks his board was reduced to minority as nine GNLF councillors switched over to the Morcha, Kumai continued to hang on to his post since the municipality rules state that another no-trust motion can be tabled only after six months.

Till about a few weeks ago, the chairman had made it clear that he would not resign without a fight. However, the chain of events following the death of a Morcha supporter in Darjeeling last week, including the ransacking of Kumai’s bungalow here, seems to have weakened his resolve and hastened his departure.

Despite repeated attempts, Kumai could not be contacted. Sources said he has vowed to support the movement for Gorkhaland, which is being spearheaded by the Morcha.

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