The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) on Thursday swept the polls to the newly created Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), capturing all 45 seats in the Darjeeling hills governing council. GJM supremo Bimal Gurung was sworn in as the chief executive of the GTA.
The long-standing agitation on the demand for forming a separate state out of the northern West Bengal hills has led to loss of many lives over the past two decades, besides hitting hard the region's economic mainstays of tea, timber and tourism.
On July 18 last year, a tripartite agreement was signed between the GJM, and the state and central governments for setting up a new autonomous, elected GTA, a hill council armed with more powers than its predecessor, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) formed in the late 1980s.
"You should work hard for the development of hills, the state government is there always with you. We will build a university here in Darjeeling, the hospital will also be renovated here," said Mamata Banerjee.
She asked Gurung to ensure jobs in the GTA for the family members of the martyrs of the Indian Army.
"Whatever you have to ask from me you can, but please don't quarrel. We will all stay together like one family," she said.
Last year, immediately within three months of taking over by the new government in west Bengal, GTA agreement was signed on 18th July 2011…. The process since then has now resulted in the formation of GTA .
The name 'Darjeeling' is internationally known. Our efforts will be to place it as the most important tourism destination, as it has tremendous potential. A concerted plan of action for all- round development of infrastructure , roads, educational institutions, Hospitals, electricity , water etc will no doubt , usher a new era of peace, prosperity and happiness in Darjeeling - the northern peak of our West Bengal.
I convey my heartfelt good wishes to all brothers and sisters of Darjeeling on this occasion.
Keep smiling and if Darjeeling smiles, everyone smiles.”
The West Bengal police is likely to launch a joint operation against the Maoists with the Jharkhand police. However, it is not yet known whether the Maoists have started regrouping once again and from where the operation will be launched.
While speaking on the issue, DGP Naparajit Mukherjee said that a section of the prisoners who were released on t he recommendation of Rajnaitik Bandi Mukti Committee have once again become involved in criminal activities and police is keeping a close watch on them. He said that if these freed prisoners failed to reform themselves they will be booked again.
During her recent visit to Belpahari, CM Mamata Banerjee had expressed concern that Maoists from Odisha and Jharkhand have sought refuge in pockets of Jangalmahal and Mukherjee has directed his department to keep a close watch on the area.
For a long time, Belpahari and surrounding areas used to be ruled by guns. But now, transformation has taken place. Peace and development are doing wonders. That is why a crowd of more than lakhs have peacefully assembled at today’s meeting at Belpahari.
I remember to have visited Belpahari last in 1993 when I personally saw how poor people were surviving with roots of plants and eggs of ants. I mentioned it in my book ‘UPALABDHI’….
History shows rule of gun does not bring peace. Peace is earned through sincerity, devotion and commitment towards development.”
Please see other posts in this blog page by clicking home, and if any remarks plaese post. Also please visit popular posts & archive section. Thanks & Vande Mataram!! Saroop Chattopadhyay.