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Democratic atmosphere must for Darjeeling`s development: Mamata

Last Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 21:10

Kolkata: A democratic and peaceful atmosphere for development should return to Darjeeling, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said and once again ruled out the question of division of the state.
A democratic and peaceful atmosphere was the prerequisite for development, which has not taken place in the hills for the last 30 years, she said.

"There is no question of dividing Bengal. We want people in the hills to do well. There was no development in the hills in the past 30 years. There should be democratic atmosphere, peace and dialogue which were prerequisites for development," she told reporters at the state secretariat.

Asked about the virtual boycott of Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) meeting by GJM yesterday, Banerjee said it wants arrangement to be made for their members to vote, which can be made.

The election of a new CEO of the GTA could not take place yesterday as only two members had turned up for a meeting convened in this regard.

R D Meena, principal secretary of the administrative body in the Darjeeling hills, pointed out that the election could not take place as around 10 of their 45 members were in jail, saying they were sending a memorandum, signed by 28 GTA members, to the chief minister in this regard.

Meena said the next meeting of the GTA would be decided by the state government.

The CEO`s post was left vacant after Bimal Gurung resigned last month to start a fresh agitation for a separate state after the Centre cleared the decks for Telengana state.

Gurung, the GJM president, had yesterday termed as "unconstitutional" the chief minister`s statement that Bengal cannot be divided and said the Constitution has a provision for creating new states.

"It is unconstitutional for Mamata Banerjee to say Bengal cannot be divided. Article 3(a) of the Constitution clearly says that a new state can be formed by separation of territory from any state or by uniting two or more states or parts of states or by uniting any territory to a part of any state," he had stated in a Facebook post.


First Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 21:10
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