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GTA: Committee urged to submit report by early June

March 24, 2012 16:57 IST

The Justice Shyamal Sen Committee has been urged to submit its report -- on the issue of the inclusion of Dooars and Terai areas in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration -- by early June, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha said on Saturday.

"A resolution to this effect has been passed after a meeting between a seven-member Gorkha Janmukti Morcha delegation led by its president Bimal Gurung and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told reporters after a two-hour meeting.

Giri said that both the state government and the Morcha agreed to abide by the resolution.

Government representatives in the committee, he said, would be nominated in consultation with the GJM.

The GJM has demanded 398 mouzas (area less than a sub-division), including 196 from Dooars, 199 in Terai and three in Rajganj to be included in the GTA, the new hill council that will run the administration in Darjeeling.

Asked if the report did not suggest any new area for inclusion in GTA, Giri retorted, "How can that be? We are present in Dooars and Terai. We have proved our majority there. Of course, we will have additional areas in Terai and Dooars."

He was referring to the Gorkha-dominated areas in the Terai and Dooars in Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts in the plains.

Giri said that election to the GTA would be held either by June-end or early July on the basis of the report of the high-power committee.

West Bengal Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh and state Home Secretary G D Gautama were also present at the meeting.

Giri said that election would be held on the basis of delimitation of constituencies.

GJM president Bimal Gurung said that the meeting with the chief minister was cordial and he was satisfied with the discussions.

Gurung said that at the time of signing of the GTA agreement, it was envisaged that the committee would submit its report within six months.

He said that had the report been submitted earlier, it would have been beneficial.

The GTA Bill was passed in the West Bengal Assembly on September 2 last year. It received a nod from President Pratibha Patil on March 7 this year.

Earlier, a tripartite agreement for setting up the GTA was signed on July 18 last year in the presence of Home Minister P Chidambaram, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and GJM chief Bimal Gurung at Pintail village, near Siliguri.

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