Darjeeling: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung was today elected as the new Chief Executive of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration at a special meeting of the GTA Sabha here. The meeting which was attended by 36 elected and five nominated members of the GTA, was held at the Gorkha Ranga Manch Bhavan.
Binamy Tamang, an executive member of the GTA proposed the name of Gurung for the Chief Executive`s post which was seconded by another executive member Roshan Giri, GJM sources said.
Gurung had resigned from the post of GTA Chief Executive on July 30 after intensifying GJM agitation demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland following the Centre`s decision to create Telangana.
"My returning back to the GTA was honouring peoples wishes and my prime duty will be all round development of the hills," Gurung said before leaving for Kolkata later in the day to take part in the oath taking ceremony to be held in Raj Bhavan.
"Our president has been elected for the chair on public demand. We have requested the principal secretary GTA to coordinate with the state government for the release of GTA members and GJM supporters who are still behind bars," Roshan Giri told reporters after the meeting.
"The release of the incarcerated GTA members is members for the smooth running of the Hill Council," Giri added.
Signalling a shift in the statehood agitation, GJM supremo Gurung had said he would return as Chief Executive of GTA at the request of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after a meeting with her in Kolkata on December 20.
Earlier on December 16, GTA Sabha members had unanimously passed a resolution seeking Gurung`s reinstatement as its chief.
A hill based party CPRM, however, criticised Gurung`s return as the GTA Chief Executive.