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Binay Tamang speaks of inclusive development in the hills

Gorkhaland Territorial Administration's (GTA) caretaker chairman Binay Tamang
The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration's (GTA) caretaker chairman Binay Tamang spoke of inclusive development in the hills, on his visit to Mirik in West Bengal's Darjeeling district on Friday.

Wholeheartedly endorsing the development initiatives of a Trinamool-led Mirik municipality, Tamang hinted at taking along all stakeholders in the hills - in a move that would further marginalise the residual support for embattled Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung.

Tamang spoke about transcending political affiliations while working for the overall development of the hills.

In a show of unity, GTA vice chairman Anit Thapa accompanied Binay to Mirik.

Later in the day they held a meeting with local Trinamool leader and Mirik municipality board chairman Lalbahadur Rai. Cooperation in developmental work featured in the agenda.

"This is not a political visit. This is an administrative visit by the GTA. We want all -round development of the hills. There is no politics in that stand. We had a meeting with the chairman, we shall work in stages on various projects," Tamang said.


Last May, there was a keen contest between the Trinamool Congress and the Morcha for the Mirik municipality.

The TMC had promised that the people of Mirik would be given land deeds.

After the win, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a rally in Mirik to announce the commencement of the project.

The agitations hit the hills hard, and Trinamool sources claim that many people - ostensibly under pressure from hardline Morcha supporters - supported Gurung.

The situation changed after Gurung went underground. Youth and women Morcha supporters and leaders have reposed their faith in Binay Tamang, and Gurung's supporters aren't coming out in the open.

Tamang said the Mirik lake is a major tourist attraction  and is in need of immediate attention.

Municipality chairman Rai said politics and development are separate entities

"We shall unitedly work for the development of Mirik. We need to ensure that the situation is normalised and peace returns here," he said.

Incidentally, a local GJM leader, Vardan Moktan was arrested in Kalimpong's Gairibas area.

He has pending cases of destroying government properties, arson and fanning trouble in the area.

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