GJM Digs Heels Over Full Implementation of Gorkhaland Pact, Asks Mamata to Delay Polls

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has asked chief minister Mamata Banerjee not to hold the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) election as they demanded full implementation of the GTA Agreement and suggested a political solution to the long-pending issue of Gorkhas.

The West Bengal government in consultation with the State Election Commission has decided to hold the GTA election in June.

There has been a demand for separate Gorkhaland for many decades. Gorkhaland consists of Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and other hilly districts. In 2011, when the Trinamool Congress government came to power, the GTA agreement was signed amongst the Union of India, the West Bengal government and the GJM leaders for an autonomous dispensation within the state but without dropping the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland as mentioned in the said agreement.

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri stressed in the letter that most points mentioned in the GTA agreement have not been fulfilled.

“The transfer of aforesaid powers has remained an illusion till date and the transferred departments are not even in a position to fill up the vacant posts in the said departments arising out of retirement. Though such filling up of existing vacant posts will not create any additional or new financial burden on the government,” the letter read.

Moreover, Giri mentioned a committee is yet to be formed, which will actually understand much area of Terain Duars should be under the GTA. “The high-powered committee as enunciated in the said agreement is yet to be formed to date, which strikes at the root of the trust sought to be created through the said agreement. The entire 396 Gorkha-majority and Gorkha mouzas (areas less than a sub-division) are yet to be incorporated in the GTA and this is yet another major reason for the simmering discontent and dissatisfaction amongst the people of the region.

The letter also stresses that an instant Memorandum of Proposal will be considered by the government and on priority since the GJM has not made any fresh demands or concessions for the purpose of creating an atmosphere of trust and brotherhood thereby creating a smooth road ahead for a long pending political solution of the Gorkhas and their identity.

Before the 2021 West Bengal assembly election, the GJM scrapped their alliance with the BJP and supported the TMC. The GJM claims that certain promises were made to them amongst which withdrawal of cases against Bimal Gurung was one such demand. There were around 50 cases against Gurung but only a few were withdrawn but post the 2021 election, nothing much happened.

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