Darjeeling: GTA meeting flops

Darjeeling, Sept 4 : The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) meeting to elect a chief executive with the West Bengal government initiative turned a futile exercise on Wednesday when the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) did not take part in the election for a chief executive.

GTA's principal secretary Ram Das Meena, who had presided the meeting, said the GTA's chief executive post was still lying vacant.

The GJM said it would take part in the election after the release of all the GTA executive members and party activists.

Meena said he sent a report to the Writers Buildings and now the state government would take further action.

GJM president Bimal Gurung said they first want their party workers to be released then only all the political process could be taken up.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that her government would like to have an elected member at the GTA's top post by the votes from the members.

She said if did not happen then the government would take up the matter.

The GJM said how they would select a member when 11 of the 45-member house were behind the bars.

The post of the GTA's chief executive fell vacant after Gurung quit the post on July 30 and spearheaded for the separate state.

Gurung had said they would participate in the meeting called by the West Bengal government but they would not take part in choosing the chief executive.

"How can we take part in choosing the GTA chief executive when our executive members are in jails," Gurung said.

"The developmental works can wait but we want first our identify by carving out a separate state," he said.

On Union Home Minster Sushilkumar Shinde's appeal to call off the ongoing strike in the hills, Gurung said they will take a decision after the Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC) returned from New Delhi.

He said Shinde assured the hill delegation that the Centre would soon convene a tripartite meeting to solve the hill impasse.

"The GJAC will meet soon and take appropriate action but the movement for Gorkhaland will continue," Gurung said.

--IBNS (Posted on 04-09-2013)

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