‘GTA a step towards achievement of Gorkhaland’
Darjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on Friday said GTA, the new hill council to run the administration in the Darjeeling hills, is a step towards achievement of
Gorkhaland, an indication that they are not going back on
their demand for a separate state.
"The word 'Gorkhaland' has been legitimised and this is
a victory... We can now say we come from Gorkhaland. We are
now playing the semi-finals and we now only have to get a
Gorkhaland state," GJM president Bimal Gurung said at a rally
here at the Mall to celebrate the tripartite agreement signed
at Pintail village on July 18.
He said GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri had visited
Assam to study the Bodoland Territorial Council established
there in 2003.
After his return it was discussed by the GJM's central
committee and a similar model - Gorkhaland Territorial
Administration (GTA)- was adopted, Gurung said.
The people had worked tirelessly during the 44-month
agitation, he said, adding they should not be upset about
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee saying that West Bengal will
not be divided.
"You should not be upset by her speech. It was political
compulsion on her part which prompted her to say it," Gurung
On the unpaid electricity, telephone and taxes, by the
people in Darjeeling since 2008 when a non-cooperation
movement was launched by the GJM, Gurung made it clear that
the people would only pay them from July 18 this year when the
GTA accord was signed.
"No arrears will be paid, even if they hang us. We will
only start paying electricity bills from the day the agreement
was signed," Gurung said emphatically.
Gurung also hinted that agitation for Gorkhaland would be
kept on hold and it was time to concentrate on creation of
jobs and development of the hills.
"I request the Opposition to refrain from criticising us.
Give me time for another two to two-and-a-half-years and I
will change the face of the hills," he said urging youths who
had left Darjeeling in search of better jobs to return.