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28 Jun 2017

GTA exit a drama: Deb - Morcha seeks to divert people's attention, says minister

TT, Siliguri, June 27: Minister Gautam Deb today said the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha's exit from the GTA and the burning of copies of the agreement and the law on the hill body was a "drama" to divert people's attention from alleged financial anomalies in the administrative set-up. "
"They (Morcha leaders) have been enjoying power at the GTA for the past 59 months and received all benefits from the state and central governments. But when corruption and anomalies were found in the GTA, they suddenly picked up the demand for the separate state. It is ridiculous that they announced the scrapping of the GTA accord by burning its copies in public," Deb said.
People across the hills, he said, well understand that the agreement cannot be scrapped in such a manner.
"The agreement still exists and tenure of the current GTA board will end on June 30. As only a few days are left for the term to end, Morcha leaders are trying to enact a drama by tendering resignation. Their only intention is to divert attention of the common people. They don't want to face unpleasant questions, which would be raised once the audit team (sent by the state) comes up with specific details of anomalies in the utilisation of funds," the tourism minister said.
The Darjeeling Trinamul district president also questioned the sincerity of the Morcha leaders with regard to Darjeeling, an international brand for tourists and tea connoisseurs.
"By indulging in violence and resorting to agitation which are undemocratic, the Morcha is blemishing Darjeeling's name in national and international arenas. It only proves that they are hardly concerned about people living in the region. Lakhs of people earn their livelihood from the brand value of Darjeeling. The repute of a prominent tourist destination that is popular across the world has been affected because of the whimsical moves of a handful of people," Deb said.
He said the movement had nothing to do with common people of the hills.
"The strike has been imposed on them by some political leaders who are worried about their own political existence in the hills. That over 100 supporters of Trinamul have come down to Siliguri from the hills proves that Morcha leaders do not have faith on themselves," Deb alleged.

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