Monday, 30th October 2017

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Binay seeks creation of Mirik Assembly seat & more blocks

Mirik is a subdivision in Darjeeling district

By Bireswar Banerjee in Siliguri
  • Published 25.11.19, 12:46 AM
  • Updated 25.11.19, 12:46 AM
  • 2 mins read
Binay Tamang Telegraph picture

The Binay Tamang faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has demanded the creation of Mirik Assembly constituency and an increase in the number of seats in the GTA as well as administrative blocks in the Darjeeling hills.

Mirik is a subdivision in Darjeeling district. There are three Assembly seats in the hills now — Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.

“We want Mirik to be declared as an Assembly seat and have already written to the Election Commission of India and the Bengal government. Our party has also raised the demand of dividing a constituency of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. We also want to increase the number of administrative blocks in the hills,” Tamang said at Salbari near here on Sunday.

He was in Salbari to attend a programme organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad on the occasion of the 144th birth anniversary of Birsa Munda.

The GTA constituency he was referring to is Gorubathan. As of now, there are 45 constituencies in the GTA.

Tamang said the Morcha wanted elections to be held to the GTA immediately. “But the changes we have sought should be carried out for the betterment of the hills,” he added.

About a year ago, the Morcha had urged the state government to increase the number of administrative blocks in the hills from eight to 13.

The Morcha leader came down heavily on the BJP and Darjeeling MP Raju Bista.

“The MP is speaking on issues like three-tier rural polls but is mum on Gorkhaland. So far, Gorkhaland has been mentioned only in questions and answers in Parliament in the past 10 years. No concrete move has been made on the separate state so far. People in the hills have elected him as the MP to raise their demand and hence, he should see that a bill on Gorkhaland is tabled in Parliament during the ongoing winter session,” said Tamang.

He iterated the demand to grant tribal status to 11 hill communities.

“We have written to the Prime Minister and the Union home minister, saying Gorkhas should be declared as the original inhabitants of the hills, like tribals in Assam. We have seen how thousands of Gorkhas have been left out of the final list of the NRC (National Register of Citizens) in the neighbouring state,” said Tamang.

Tea meeting

A high level meeting on the tea industry of Bengal will be held at the New Secretariat Building in Calcutta on Monday. Tamang, who is a member of the Tea Advisory Council constituted by the Bengal government, will attend the meeting.

“Senior officials of the state government and Tea Board, along with state ministers, are likely to be present at the meeting where issues pertaining to the industry will be discussed,” said a source.