Home / West-bengal / GTA polls in May or June, says Mamata Banerjee

GTA polls in May or June, says Mamata Banerjee

She also referred to the pending panchayats polls of the hills, which were held back in 2000 the last time
Mamata near Siliguri on Sunday.
Mamata near Siliguri on Sunday.
Passang Yolmo

Avijit Sinha And Bireswar Banerjee   |   Siliguri   |   Published 28.03.22, 04:23 AM

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee played the development card on Sunday as she handed over assistance to beneficiaries of different state-run schemes here and underscored that she wants the elections of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and the three-tier polls of Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad to be held soon.

Mamata, who reached here in the afternoon on a five-day trip, attended a public distribution event at Gossainpur on the outskirts of Siliguri.

From here, she ascended to Darjeeling where she is scheduled to stay for next three days.

“We want the GTA elections to be held in May or June this year. Our brothers and sisters in the hills should get elected and run the GTA. During my visit to the hills, I will also speak with some political parties there. We have restored peace and want it to prevail across the hills and north Bengal as a whole,” said Mamata.

She also referred to the pending panchayats polls of the hills, which were held back in 2000 the last time.

Back in 1988, after the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council was formed, the Darjeeling Zilla Parishad got obliterated and a two-tier panchayat system  came in the hills. The Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad was created on the lines of zilla parishad for rural areas of Siliguri subdivision and kept out of the purview of DGHC. 

“We have asked the Centre to amend a law so that a three-tier panchayat system can be introduced in the hills and rural polls can be conducted,” she added.

In the course of her speech, she also asked Papia Ghosh, the Darjeeling (plains) district Trinamul president, to start working for the three-tier elections of the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad.

On the statewide panchayats elections due next year, Mamata brought up the recent Siliguri,municipality elections which had been completely peaceful unlike some other civic polls in Bengal.

“We want elections to be peaceful. It should be like Siliguri, where no one can raise a single question about the vote. Our elected representatives at civic bodies should focus on their responsibilities. They should talk less and work more,” said Mamata.

After the civic polls, Trinamul leader Gautam Deb, who is now the mayor of Siliguri, had earned appreciation of the party for not indulging in any dispute during the polls and winning a majority at the civic body based on a pure political contest.

“The chief minister’s reference to municipal polls of Siliguri hints that certain incidents of violence where involvement of her party supporters were alleged, have not gone down well with her,” said a party insider.

Mamata, while attending the event, also elaborated on the social welfare schemes which have been extended to the women of the state.

“We are providing assistance to lakhs of girls and women under various schemes like Kanyashree, Lakshmir Bhandar and widow pension. Also, there are a host of other schemes under which people of different age groups and communities are covered. Altogether, I can say that the Bengal government provides the most intensive social security cover to its residents,” she said.

Before heading for Darjeeling, the chief minister also hinted that her government is in the process of meeting a longstanding demand of the hill residents.  

“We will start distributing land rights to people dwelling in the hills,” said Mamata.

Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.