Darjeeling: In a climb-down from its
earlier stand, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has decided to hold
municipal and panchayat elections before setting up of the
Gorkha Regional Authority.
"We are ready to go for the local body elections if it
is held within the next one and a half months," GJM media
secretary Harka bahadur Chetri told reporters at Bagdogra
The West Bengal government had expressed the need for
local body elections in the Darjeeling hills first before
taking up the matter of setting up an interim authority.
Chetri said that panchayat and municipality poll results
would decide the ratio of political representation in the
However, Chetri was doubtful if the state government
would be able to conduct the poll in time, as the civic body
election was a state subject.
GJM president Bimal Gurung in a press conference in
Darjeeling said his party was hopeful about the formation of
an interior council soon.
"We have discussed the matter in detail with political
leaders in New Delhi," he said.
The state`s urban development minister Ashok Bhattacharya
said in Siliguri that the matter would be discussed in the
next tripartite meeting.