Darjeeling: The final tally of candidates in the poll fray from the Darjeeling constituency now stands at 16. Owing to the number of candidates, two balloting units of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) have to be placed in each polling booth of the constituency.21 persons had filed their nominations for the Darjeeling constituency seat. During scrutiny, the candidature of Maheswari Barman and Wajed Ali, both independent candidates, was rejected. While Barman did not deposit DCR cash, Ali’s papers were incomplete. Meanwhile, three candidates, namely Pawan Agarwal, R B Rai and Swaraj Thapa, have withdrawn their nominations. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”We have 16 candidates in this constituency and hence two balloting units will be provided in each booth,” stated Joyoshi Das Gupta, District Election Officer and District Magistrate. There are 1,899 booths in the constituency. Election symbols for the candidates were also allotted on Friday. The day also saw CPRM candidate RB Rai and independent candidate Swaraj Thapa withdrawing their nominations. While talking to media persons, Thapa stated: “My nomination was a symbolic protest against the idea of repeatedly foisting outsiders for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHe added that after he had filed his candidature, he had taken up the exercise to unite the Hill regional parties and decide on a consensus candidate from the candidates who were in the poll fray. “I had approached all regional parties along with the Congress and CPI(M). However, owing to time constraint, this could not materialise,” said Thapa. Nearly a month ago, the CPRM, while still in the exercise to unite the Hill regional parties and field a consensus candidate, had unilaterally announced the name of R B Rai. “Just to save a fractured mandate we withdrew our candidate. We are holding dialogues with national parties and regional parties. In the next few days we will announce our support to a party or coalition,” stated Govind Chettri, CPRM spokesperson.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on the occasion of World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday, said that a world-class autism township will be set up soon to provide training to autistic children and adults.In a tweet, Banerjee said: “Today is #WorldAutismAwarenessDay. We must create more awareness about autism among the people. You will be happy to know that a world-class autism township will be coming up near Kolkata where autistic children and adults will receive training, treatment and boarding facilities.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThis comes as a significant announcement for autistic children in the city, as they would get various facilities at the proposed township. The township will be built as a one-of-its-kind initiative by the Bengal government in association with a private firm, on a 52 acre plot at Sirakol in South 24-Parganas at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore. The project is expected to be completed by 2023. It can be mentioned that the project was first announced during the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) in 2018. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe children and adults suffering from the developmental disorder can receive training, treatment and boarding facilities at this township. The township will also have provisions for training teachers who would be dealing with those suffering from the disorder. The main purpose of the township is to provide holistic development of those suffering from autism. World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognised day which falls on April 2 every year and aims to raise awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder through various programmes. According to a senior state government official, the township will be the first of its kind, not only in the country but also in the world. There will be facilities for accommodating 350 residents, apart from a daycare centre having a capacity of accommodating over 200 children and adolescents. A guest house will also be set up, where parents of those receiving training can stay for a few days. It may be mentioned here that after coming to power, the Mamata Banerjee government has started introducing units for autistic children at various government-run hospitals. Among other medical colleges and hospitals in the state, the NRS Medical College and Hospital runs a unique autistic care centre, where a large number of patients from across the state visit.