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Home / West-bengal / Thapa’s party constitutes 17-member GTA poll panel

Thapa’s party constitutes 17-member GTA poll panel

Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) is aligned with Trinamul Congress
BGPM chief  Anit Thapa.

Vivek Chhetri   |   Darjeeling   |   Published 15.11.21, 01:36 AM

The Anit Thapa led Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) has formed a 17-member election committee to fight the forthcoming Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) elections while rivals Gorkha National Liberation Front  have said they would “protest” if GTA election dates are announced.

A BGPM leader said that the party’s “election coordination committee” has been formed. Tilak Chand Roka, a former GTA Sabha member, has been appointed as chief coordinator.

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“The committee includes leaders from across the hills and they will look into all aspects of the party’s preparedness for the upcoming GTA elections,” said a BGPM leader.

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during an administrative meeting in Kurseong on October 26 had said that elections to the GTA, which are due since 2017, would be held after the revision of electoral rolls are completed.

As that process will be completed on January 5, theBGPM leaders are hoping that elections would be announced immediately afterwards.
Thapa has aligned his party with Mamata’s Trinamul.

While the Thapa-led party is preparing for elections, the GNLF is gearing up for protests.
The GNLF is an ally of the BJP in the hills.

“The majority of the hill people have rejected the GTA as the entity cannot fulfil the aspirations of the hill people. If the GTA election dates are announced we will stage democratic protests against the decision,” said Sandeep Limbu, general secretary, GNLF Darjeeling branch committee.
The GNLF leader further said that the state government should not hold GTA elections to maintain peace in the hills.
“The state government talks about peace in the hills. To maintain peace, GTA  elections should not be held as people would not be happy with the decision,” said Limbu.

Limbu said that the decision to hold the GTA elections might be a move to derail the tripartite meeting which the Centre had recently convened to find “a permanent political solution” for the hill people.

“When talks are being held on a permanent political solution for the region, it is unfortunate that some parties want election to the GTA,” said Limbu. 
The GNLF has also filed a case in Calcutta High Court challenging the constitutional validity of the GTA Act in 2012.

The BJP promised a “permanent political solution” for Darjeeling region in its 2019 Lok Sabha poll manifesto, although the exact solution has not been clearly defined.

In October this year, Union home minister Amit Shah convened a tripartite meeting involving BJP legislators from the region as well as leader of BJP’s allies in the hills. 

However, legislators of other parties from the region were not invited to the meeting. The definition of a permanent political solution is 
still not clear, though some political entities in the hills are hoping it means statehood.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, on her part, also promised to work out a “permanent political solution” for the hills. Her party, however, has always been opposed to further division of Bengal.



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