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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha may return to GTA

Amitava Banerjee , Hindustan Times  Darjeeling, September 25, 2013
First Published: 11:00 IST(25/9/2013) | Last Updated: 11:31 IST(25/9/2013)

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) will take part in the meeting to elect a new GTA chief, claim sources close to the party.

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All eyes are trained on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA ) sabha meeting scheduled for September 27 in Darjeeling to elect a new chief executive member.

The outcome of the meet is expected to shape the future of politics in the Hills.

With GJM president Bimal Gurung resigning from the post of chief executive member on July 30, a GTA sabha meeting was slated for September 4 to elect a new chief.

The GJM boycotted the meeting handing over a petition saying that unless the 10 arrested GTA members were released unconditionally, the party would not take part in the meeting.

The GJM has preferred to remain tight-lipped.

“We have not decided whether to take part,” said GJM general secretary Roshan Giri.

According to political observers, a cornered Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is caught between the devil and the deep sea.

The GTA slipping away from the GJM’s fingers would emerge as a major dent in GJM’s political armour.

If the GJM boycotts the meeting the government can supersede the GTA.

GTA passing to the hands of the Trinamoolled state government could boost the Trinamool organisational strength in Darjeeling Hills eating away the GJM’s support base.

Incidentally, there is a provision in the GTA Act whereby the government can supersede the GTA.

Section 64 of the act states, “Government may by order to be published in the Official Gazette stating the reasons therefore, supersede the GTA and direct that it be reconstituted within such period not exceeding 6 months as may be specified in the order.”

With the state government’s rough and tough policy resulting in more than 1,300 GJM supporters and leaders, the only way for GJM to buy peace is by returning to GTA.

On the other hand, returning to the GTA could cost the GJM the newly found camaraderie in the form of the Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC, a conglomeration of pro- Gorkhaland forces of which GJM is also a constituent) and would raise questions.

The constituent parties of GJAC have been demanding the scrapping of GTA.

GJM attending the GTA sabha meeting to elect a new chief would breathe fresh life into the GTA.

Questions would also be raised by the public as to why the morethan-one-month bandh fiasco when not an inch was gained on the Gorkhaland front, and the GJM decided to retur n to GTA.

“However if the GJM attend the GTA meeting thereby returning to GTA the prevailing tension and uncertainty will definitely be defused. If peace and normalcy returns, so will the tourists making up for the economical damage the Hills have suffered in the past one month,” said a resident.


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