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22 Apr 2017

Central and state governments should scrap GTA and form the DGHC again: GNLF

Mahendra Chhetri in Siliguri on Friday.
Picture by 
Passang Yolmo
TT, Siliguri, April 21: The GNLF today said the central and state governments should work together to scrap the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, restore the Darjeelinand form the DGHC againg Gorkha Hill Council and accord Sixth Schedule status to the hills.
"The GTA is functioning in an unconstitutional manner. We want the state and the Centre to scrap the body  with constitutional validation. Our party has time and again raised the demand of Sixth Schedule and we stick to it," Mahendra Chhetri, the general secretary of GNLF, said at a news conference here today.
The statement came a day after the Supreme Court had instructed Calcutta High Court to decide expeditiously on petitions related to the constitutional validity of the GTA.
Following the formation of the GTA on the basis of a memorandum of agreement signed by the Centre, state government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on July 18, 2011, a number of petitions were filed in the high court, challenging the constitutional validity of the GTA Act passed by the Assembly.
Among the petitions are the one filed by the GNLF in 2012.
"Our petition is yet to be heard in Calcutta High Court. We hope it would be heard soon as there is a specific direction from the Supreme Court," Chhetri said.
Asked about the alliance with Trinamul for the coming civic polls in the hills, the GNLF general secretary said it had been decided that his party would field candidates in 34 wards. Among them are 16 seats in Darjeeling municipality, seven in Kalimpong, eight in Kurseong and three in Mirik.
"We will contest the elections together. We also want one-to-one contest in each ward and are holding talks with some hill parties to defeat the Morcha. The Morcha and its leaders have indulged in corruption when they ran the civic boards in the past five years," Chhetri said.

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