WB Assembly passes GTA Bill for Darjeeling council
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Last Updated: Friday, September 02, 2011, 22:52
Kolkata: The West Bengal assembly Friday passed a bill, paving way for the formation of a new autonomous hill council in Darjeeling after several amendments were brought by the state government while accepting objections raised by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

A total of 54 amendments to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill moved by Chief Whip of the Trinamool Congress Sobhandeb Chattopadhay was passed by the House by voice vote accepting key objections of GJM including to incorporate financial and administrative powers in addition to executive powers as mentioned in the GTA agreement.

The government, however, rejected most of the amendments moved by CPI-M members Surya Kanta Mishra, who is the Leader of the Opposition, and Anisur Rahman.

An amendment providing for reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward classes in the GTA moved by Mishra was accepted, on the other hand.

The CPI-M asked the government to refer the bill to a select committee for further scrutiny, but it was rejected by the House by voice vote.

Terming the GTA agreement and the Bill as a new beginning for Darjeeling, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said there was no point creating confrontation among the people in the hills and the adivasis in the plains.

"This is a historic day. This is a day to step into the future and a new beginning for Darjeeling. We will give full cooperation to the GTA. Darjeeling is the heart of the state. Darjeeling and Dooars and Terai are like brothers and sisters. They cannot be separated from each other," she said.


First Published: Friday, September 02, 2011, 22:52

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