Delhi seeks fast revival of GTA

No letter has come from Centre, says state

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 25.11.17

New Delhi: The Centre has requested the Bengal government to expedite the revival of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to start a composite tripartite dialogue process to resolve the Darjeeling impasse, sources in the Union home ministry have told The Telegraph.

The GTA was formed as per an agreement signed by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Bengal government and the Centre in July 2011. Bimal Gurung was the chief executive officer of the GTA whose five-year tenure ended in July this year.

"We have requested the state government to revive the GTA by conducting fresh elections before the Centre can formally invite all stakeholders to tripartite talks. It has been almost a month since we communicated it to the state but we are yet to get a response," a ministry official said.

The Union government had promised the tripartite meeting involving itself, the Bengal government and the Morcha to discuss the Darjeeling imbroglio.

A senior Nabanna official said the state had not received any such letter from Delhi till Friday evening. "Let the letter come and then only can we take a decision after consulting the chief minister."

Observers, however, believe the state is unlikely to hold elections to the GTA so early as it has already nominated a board of administrators headed by Binay Tamang to run the hill body. The state is propping up Tamang as an alternative leader to Gurung and the former is slowly making inroads into the political landscape of the hills.

Gurung has been on the run ever since he was named in several cases registered by the state government in connection with violence during the recent Gorkhaland movement.

"If elections are immediately held, there is every possibility that Gurung's camp might make a comeback. Mamata would not want this to happen immediately," said an observer.