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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Gurung set to be back as GTA chief

Amitava Banerjee, Hindustan Times  Darjeeling, November 18, 2013
First Published: 12:12 IST(18/11/2013) | Last Updated: 12:15 IST(18/11/2013)

Riding piggyback on ‘development’, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung is all set to return to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) as the chief executive.

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Gurung had resigned from the post on July 30 in the interest of resurrecting the demand for Gorkhaland.

At present, Col. (retd) Ramesh Allay is the acting chief executive of the GTA.

Addressing a public meeting in Kalimpong on Sunday, Gurung said, “Col. Allay along with the GTA members have to ensure full fledged development of the Hills through the GTA. In two years they have to turn this place into another Switzerland. However I am apprehensive that Col. Allay and the GTA members will not be able to do so. It seems that I will be compelled to interfere. The public want me as the GTA chief.”

‘Development’ topped the charts in Gurung’s speech. “Earlier, when Ivisited Kalimpong as the GTA chief, the people used to meet me with requests of development activities including new roads and culverts. This time hardly anyone came to meet me. This is a clear indicator of the fact that people want development,” Gurung said.

Not losing an opportunity for Mamata-bashing, Gurung said, “Mamata Banerjee should not indulge in the divide-and-rule policy in the Hills. She has created a development board for the Lepchas and has introduced Lepcha language in primary schools in the Hills from the next academic session. There has to be similar boards for other communities. Similarly, language of other communities has to be introduced in schools.”

He further said that the GJM delegation would sit in bipartite talks with the state government on November 20 and the same would be followed by tripartite talks with the Centre and state on November 21.

He said the primary agenda at both meetings would be to ensure an end to needless interference of the Mamata government in the dayto-day conduct of the GTA.

Hitting out at the district administration and the police, Gurung claimed the State machinery is being used to further the interests of the ruling Trinamool Congress in the Hills.

“Trinamool flags are being distributed from police stations. The police are now engaged in carrying out Trinamool’s activities. It’s time Mamata Banerjee stopped playing with the law,” Gurung said.


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