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CIMA Gallary

GTA meet shuts out Trinamul trio
- Official attributes nominees’ absence to ‘sudden’ session

Darjeeling, Oct. 12: Three nominated Trinamul members were not invited to the second meeting of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-controlled GTA Sabha on Tuesday as the authorities had purportedly called the session abruptly and failed to contact the trio.

Of the five members nominated to the GTA Sabha, Durga Kharel, Satish Kumar Thing and Milan Dukpa belong to Trinamul.

Kharel told The Telegraph they were aggrieved that the state nominees hadn’t been invited to the second GTA Sabha meeting on October 9.

“We came to know from the media that a Sabha meeting was held and important issues were discussed. Even though we are not in a position to derail their proposals as the Morcha enjoys a majority in the Sabha, we would have aired our opinions on various issues.”

The GTA’s interim budget was passed and resolutions on filling up vacancies and formation of the GTA labour board among other matters were adopted at the second meeting.

Don Bosco Lepcha, the secretary of the GTA’s personal and administrative section (earlier called the establishment department), that had sent out invitation letters to the members for the Sabha meeting, said: “The meeting was called at a very short notice and we had only a day’s time to issue the letters. I have inquired into the matter and found out that the department had sent out hand posts but since they could not find many members, they returned and subsequently,” letters were posted.”

By hand post, Lepcha meant delivery of invitation letters through office staff.

Lepcha said many elected members, too, had not received the letter. “It is very much regrettable. I am sure this will not be repeated. However, we would like to categorically say it was not intentional.”

However, the officer couldn’t immediately say the number of absentees amongst the Morcha GTA members.

Kharel, however, seems unsatisfied.

“Till date, I have not received the invitation letter through post. Moreover, I am pretty sure that most of the town people know that I am always present at the district court during working hours. I only hope that such an incident is not repeated.”

Kharel is a well-known singer from Darjeeling and a lawyer by profession.

Asked whether the Trinamul nominees had been deliberately excluded from the Sabha meeting, Pradip Pradhan, the chairman of the Sabha, replied in the negative.

“It is not true. We will definitely invite all the members to our future meetings as the nominees, too, have the right to attend the Sabha. These are early days for the Sabha and we are only settling down. Clear rules and regulations and other procedures (on conducting such meetings) are being worked out at the moment.”

In another development, a six-member GTA delegation led by executive member Roshan Giri will hold a meeting with the state government in Calcutta tomorrow to discuss the delay in the transfer of departments to the hill body.

Speaking over the phone from Calcutta, Giri, said: “A meeting has been fixed with the state government at 1pm tomorrow. We would not comment further.”