Amitava Banerjee, HT, 6 August, DARJEELING: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has said that the lifespan of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) is short and the Morcha will soon walk the agitation path for a separate state.
The party has blamed the state government for interfering with the functioning of the GTA.
Talking to the press, Binay Tamang, GJM’s assistant general secretary, said, “On May 13, the GJM and the GTA had filed two separate writ petitions in the Supreme Court against the infringement on the GTA by the Bengal government along with the violation of the GTA Act. As the Centre is also a signatory to the GTA agreement, it has also been made a party. The petitions have been admitted in the Supreme Court. The first hearings will tentatively take place on August 28 and 29 for the two writ petitions.”
“The lifespan of the GTA is a big question. We will revive the Gorkhaland demand. The TMC government is to blame for any eventuality,” added Tamang.
While Roshan Giri, GJM general secretary, filed a writ petition on behalf of the GJM, GTA member Binay Tamang has filed the other writ petition in the apex court.
Earlier during the day, GJM president and GTA chief Bimal Gurung, while addressing a GJM workers’ meet organised by the party’s town committee at the Gorkha Ranga Mancha in Darjeeling, had issued similar threats.
“Time has come to get rid of the GTA Agreement and Act. Both have no value. Acts and Rules are meant to be followed. The state government does not seem to understand this. Time has come for us to raise our voice in unison for Gorkhaland. The Hills should be prepared for this. We have to live a life of dignity and not as slaves,” retorted Gurung.
Gurung blamed the state government for compelling the GJM to walk the agitation path. “It has not followed the GTA Agreement and Act in letter and spirit. The state has been interfering in the day-to-day functioning of the GTA. Mamata Banerjee has been politicising each and every issue. She has launched a conspiracy of divide and rule in the Hills. Time has come to do or die. We will decide on the fate of the GTA soon,” added the GJM president.
After a three-year long agitation for Gorkhaland, a memorandum of agreement had been signed between the Centre, the state government and the GJM on July 18, 2011, paving way for the formation of this autonomous administrative body to administer the three hill subdivisions of the Darjeeling district (Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong).