Debasis Sarkar, SILIGURI: After the major political stir observed in Darjeeling hills with large public movement over the state Chief Minsiter’s visit there on Tuesday despite Gorkha janamukti Morcha’s (GJM) bandh call, the practical life in hills went back to its usual uncertain and frozen state today. The much waited and largely talked about meeting to elect Gorkhaland Territorial Administration’s (GTA) chief Executive could not take place failing to get hill administration back to life.
Only two GJM leaders with their capacity of GTA Chairman and thus convener of the meeting along with the Vice Chairman were present. Naturally, the meeting could not be held. “The development has been reported to the Government. Next step will be decided soon,” said Mr. R D Meena, GTA Principal Secretary.
“GTA is not our agenda now. We want release of our arrested members first. And our movement for Gorkhaland will continue,” said GJM President Mr. Bimal Gurung.
GJM was pressing hard for the release of around 750 arrested members including 10 elected GTA councilorsbefore the meeting. But it was not accepted though the arrested GTA members were called in the meeting. Many GJM leaders, GTA councilors and their supporters kept on shouting slogans outside the meeting hall demanding ‘immediate and unconditional’ release of their members.
GTA has 45 elected members from GJM and 5 nominated members. After resignation of Mr. Gurung from the post of its Chief Executive as a part of his movement step one month back, the administration board became defunct. To restart its activities, the board needs a new Chief. “We want the chief to be elected by the councilor in the meeting. But if they do not respond positively, Government will take strict step,” said CM Miss Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday.
However, general life in Darjeeling or Kurseong was under strong influence of ‘Ghar Bahir Janta’ (people out of home) call of GJM today. Offices, shops, schools, transportation all remained off due to ongoing indefinite bandh. Interestingly, hill sub division Kalimpong had large scale public movement yesterday over the Chief minister’s presence there to receive felicitation from Lepcha community and her public meeting. But, today’s ground picture in that Lepcha dominated town was not much different from Darjeeling.
Though still enjoying solid public response in its bandh, GJM knows that it may break apart anyday soon under the pressure of already generated mass resentment. While talking to media today on the issue, TMC all Indian General Secretary Mr. Mukul Roy said, said, “GJM is already detached from public.” Even after one month long bandh and thus great suffering of public, GJM has practically failed to get anything positive. It has also failed to arrange a tri-partite talk with center. At this stage now it has become utmost important for GJM to come out of the knot while saving own supremacy in hills.
As learnt, GJM central committee and Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee will meet again soon to chalk out future course of action.
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