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States » East » CAE


Pressure building up on Mamata Banerjee government to dissolve GTA-BOA after mandate swings to BJP in Darjeeling

Pressure building up on Mamata Banerjee government to dissolve GTA-BOA after mandate swings to BJP in Darjeeling

Darjeeling, May 25 (UNI) With the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF)-supported BJP sweeping both Darjeeling Lok Sabha and Assembly seats, pressure is mounting on the Mamata Banerjee government to dissolve the GTA-BOA (Gorkhaland Territorial

Administration-Board of Administration) in Darjeeling Hills.

The Gorkha leaders both from GJM and GNLF called upon the people to put pressure on the Mamata Banerjee government for dissolution of the BOA or else march to the streets of hills to get their demand conceded.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in September 2017 formed a BOA putting Binay Tamang as the chairman after the GTA's tenor was over amid doldrums as the then chairman Bimal Gurung burnt the GTA copies and revived the Gokrhaland agitation in June, which was 'brutally tamed' with eleven persons killed and hundreds of Gurung supporters put behind the bar.

Both Gurung of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and his general secretary fled Darjeeling hills after the government filed several dozen of cases, including that of sedition charges, against them.

During the agitation the GJM split, and Binay Tamang was made the chairman of the BOA and his follower Anit Thapa became one of the members.

Binay Tamang, one a trusted lieutenant of Gurung and chief spokesman of the GJM, resigned from the BOA and fought election as an Independent candidate with support from the TMC.

The chair of BOA is now occupied by Anit Thapa.

But 2019 election to both Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat and Darjeeling Assembly seat witnessed unassailable mandate for BJP candidates Raju Bista and Neeraj Tamang Zimba as both won with record margin of 60 and 62 per cent vote respectively.

While Bista (33), a former RSS person and resident of Manipur, polled 7,44,657 votes against TMC's Amar Singh Rai's 3,35,793, Zimba got 87,896 over Binay Tamang's 41 699.

Amar Singh Rai was holding the Darjeeling Assembly seat on GJM ticket in 2016, but he quit and joined the TMC and fought for Lok Sabha seat.

Zimba, a spokesman and executive committee member for GNLF, joined the saffron brigade and fought the Assembly poll.

The GJM and GNLF were arch rivals before Binay Tamang spilt the GJM and sided with the TMC.

This made the rival Gorkha leaders to come together and build a new relationship as both GJM and GNLF are headed by Mann Ghishing, son of late Subash Ghising, supported by the BJP.

Zimba during electioneering visited the Patleybas, home village of Bimal Gurung, and hoisted the GJM flag with promises to get back all the leaders home and work for the release of jailed Gorkha supporters.

He said their 11 Gorkha supporters were killed in alleged police brutalities which will be retaliated

though ballot.

GNLF leader Ajay Edwards demanded scrapping of GTA altogether and called for early tri-partite talk for a permanent solution to Gorkhaland demand.

The support for the BJP in the Hills by the Gorkha leaders prompted them to demand dissolution

after an election manifesto of saffron brigade vouching for a permanent solution to Darjeeling hills.

Roshan Giri in the latest video message from his undisclosed location demanded dissolution of the BOA, saying the present chief has no right to stay anymore after the mandate rejected the government, set up in the hills.

" The hasty setup of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration – Board of Administration (GTA BoA) makes no sense, in fact, it’s an absolute nonsense. While there is a provision for administrative setup in each and every district headed by a bureaucrat of the rank of a DM (IAS or IAS conferred or state civil servant). How fair or wise is it to have a parallel administrative setup as the BoA." he added.

Raju Bista said this is the third time BJP won the Lok Sabha seat with a huge margin.

"I have full confidence that we would do good and ensure that suppression is not thrust on Gorkha people in Darjeeling, he said adding, ' The people here wanted peace as the atrocities were being done on them. They were angry which was reflected in the mandate. '

When asked about the issue of Gorkhaland, he said, “ We should first understand what the people want and why that demand has been made. The Gorkhas that are in the hills do not have identity and allegations of foreigner is made against them. In the BJP manifesto it has been made clear that looking at this area a permanent political solution will be done within these five years along with 11 communities being given tribal status. We have to work in the hills and the plains of this area as there are many issues which need attention," Mr Bista commented.

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