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GJM expressed displeasure on GTA accord implementation with Mamata

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha banner flag
In a ‘blow hot blow cold’ between Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the GJM on Thursday expressed its displeasure in the delay in implementation of the terms of the agreement of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration by the state government, a day after Gurung and Mamata had promised to work together to develop the hills, while sharing the same stage in a police function.

An eight- member GJM delegation led by the party’s general secretary Roshan Giri and including the three MLAs from the hills and four central committee leaders called on the Bengal CM at Richmond Hill on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Gurung left for Nepal.

The list of demands of the GJM delegation was long, but the meeting lasted for only over half an hour, indicating that the discussions on them were short. On the top of the agenda of the GJM delegation was the “incomplete and ad-hoc nature” in implementation of the provisions of the transfer of department notification.

The GJM claimed that though the land and land reforms and the food and supplies departments were transferred to the GTA but the council body was yet to have effective control and supervision over the departments. “The salaries of employees of the two departments are being routed through the district administration and not through the GTA as the case should be. This also has given rise to over-lapping of jurisdictions,” Giri said.
Giving an example the GJM leader said: “The GTA and the district administration have the same chief medical officer of health and the district controller of food and supplies. It appears and we have strong reasons to believe that these officials are not cooperating and reporting to the district administration without any concurrence and intimation to the GTA which is adversely creating confusion and misunderstanding and hampering implementation of development activities”.
GJM in its deputation to the CM has also stated that departments of information and cultural affairs, excise, PWD, Tauzi, DI Fund and cooperative and fire services was yet to be fully transferred to the
GTA even after repeated submissions.

“The state government had assured to completely transfer some of the departments within six months. But, even after completing more than two years, nothing has been done. The GTA has been allowed to create its own information and cultural affairs department but the state government is yet to provide the Budgetary Provisions,” complained Giri.
GJM’s demand list also includes the formation of a Sub-ordinate Service Selection Board and a separate School Service Commission and College Service Commission and issue of an appropriate
order by the state government giving the council control over the block development officers in all matters except in statutory matters like election and census, to improve and actively focus on rural
development.

“The implementation of the 2011 GTA Act could be made easier, transparent and complete if the act is supported by corresponding set of Rules and Regulation which has not been done, yet. Also, we have asked the CM to look into the matter of sharing revenue from hydel projects and withdrawal of cases registered against persons involved in the GJM agitation,” said Giri.
The Chief Minister refused to speak to media persons waiting outside after the meeting. Instead, she left to attend a programme organized by the Tamang Development and Cultural Board (TDCB) at the Lebong Ground, eight km away from town.
However, the GJM general secretary, speaking to the media, said: “Action speaks louder than words. Just holding meetings is not enough as we want immediate results”. When asked about the Chief Minister’s response, Giri said: “The response was okay from the Chief Minister. But, I reiterate that we need action”.
The GJM leader said a tripartite meeting would be held on January 29 in Delhi which will be followed again by a bipartite meet. “All the issues that we took up today with the CM is under the state government and they need to expedite matters. But there are some other issues that we will talk with the central government in the tripartite talk,” said Giri. (EOIC)

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