Kalimpong: March 25, 2012
A delegation of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) led by its president Bimal Gurung met with West Bengal, Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee on Saturday at Writers’ Buildings Kolkata and held talks for more than half an hour over several issues like holding elections of the newly formed Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) and inclusion of several areas in the planes of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts to the GTA.
After the meeting Gurung told reporters that “I am happy with today’s meeting with the Chief Minister. GTA election to be held in July this year.” Senior GJM leader Roshan Giri also told reporters that the high-power committee headed by former justice Shyamal Sen will submit its report to the state government by the first week of June. “The Chief Minister has agreed in principle to include 398 mouzas in Terai and Dooars in the proposed GTA. After these areas are included in the GTA, we will go for polls in July this year,” Giri said.
Mamata and GJM leadership had differed over inclusion of the mouzas in the Darjeeling planes to the newly formed GTA. The state government had given an impression that the mouzas located in the planes of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts would not be included in the GTA. But the GJM had demanded 198 mouzas in Terai and similar number of mouzas in Dooars will have to be included in the GTA. Gurung had held a meeting in Mungpoo in Darjeeling district last week and came down heavily on the chief minister Mamata Banerjee for her government’s refusal to accept their demand for inclusion of Terai and Dooars mouzas under GTA. Gurung had also criticized publicly the chief minister at his Mungpoo meeting and also questioned her intentions behind signing of the tripartite meeting and implement the same. He also threatened to go for widespread movement across the Darjeeling hills from March 27 to force Mamata’s government to accept their demand. The state government wanted all the mouzas in Kalimpong, Kurseong and Darjeeling areas to bring under the GTA. But the GJM leadership had objected to it and had announced to launch a fresh movement in the Hills. Before the GJM’s proposed agitation from March 27, Mamata had called Gurung and asked him to come to Kolkata to hold a meeting with her on Saturday.
Gurung and his men had responded positively to Mamata’s appeal and held a meeting with her at the state administrative headquarters in Writers’ Buildings Kolkata on Saturday.