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5 May 2018

GNLF to give govt ‘proof of GTA graft’

Niraj ZimbaSNS  | Darjeeling: The Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) on Monday claimed that a party delegation would be meeting ministers and state government officials after 17 May, and hand them proof of “victimization and nepotism” that exists in the present Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Board.
The party said it will also demand an independent bureaucrat to be appointed to run the GTA until a political solution for the Hill problems is had. A decision to this effect was taken in a central committee meeting of the GNLF held in their office at Dr Zakir Hussain Road here on Monday.
Part leaders also decided that they would soon start programmes, demanding implementation of the Constitution’s Sixth Schedule status in the Hills. “In our recent public meeting at the Motor Stand here, our president Mann Ghisingh had spoken on our demand for an independent bureaucrat as an administrator for the GTA.
The present GTA has Binoy Tamang as the administrator, and he belongs to a political party, which does not have any mandate, while the GTA is involved in nepotism and victimization. This is unfair for other political parties as they were the ones who also worked for peace restoration, with the actual peace process started by the GNLF,” party spokesperson Niraj Zimba said.
“In fact, it was their party which was the principal architect of the recent disturbances here. We have evidence of how the GTA is being run, which we will put forward to the state government. A letter has also been prepared for our demand and we want to hand it over to the state government personally. Our delegation will go to Kolkata after 17 May and demand for an independent GTA administrator until a political solution for the Hills is found,” he added.
According to him, bipartite meetings should also continue for a political solution for the Hills. The GNLF spokesperson also maintained that in the meeting on Monday attended by 30 central committee leaders, his party decided that it will launch a movement with different programmes and coin slogans like “Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council rollback, GTA go back.”
“We want the implementation of the Sixth Schedule and removal of the unconstitutional GTA. We also want restoration of the Darjeeling Gorkhaland Hill Council (DGHC). We will raise this demand and hit the streets once a week,” said Mr Zimba, who, however, did not say when exactly such programmes would begin.
The party also discussed formation of a branch committee for the Mirik sub-division. “Efforts were made to form a separate branch committee for Mirik when our leader Subash Ghisingh was there, but due to different political reasons we had not been able to do that. Now Mirik is a separate sub-division, and on Monday, our president has declared a separate branch committee for that place and appointed Mahendra Thami as the chief convener for a month, within which time, he will have to work for the branch formation and submit a report here,” he added.

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