GJM ‘ready to quit GTA’

The leaders of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), who are camping in Delhi, has conveyed to the Centre that the outfit may quit from Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) soon if their demand for the separate state of Gorkhaland is not met.

A delegation of senior GJM leaders, including party general secretary Roshan Giri and three MLAs, met Union Home Secretary R K Singh and told him they would soon launch a agitation in the state. "We have informed him that we would not wait for long and we would restore Gorkahland agitation soon," said Giri.

Asha Gurung, president of the outfit's women wing and wife of GJM president Bimal Gurung, said the GTA was never what they wanted. "We want Gorkhaland and that is our ultimate aim. We never wanted the GTA. It was imposed on us by the state government," said Asha.

Stating that the GJM president never signed the tripartite agreement that paved the way for the GTA's creation, Asha said: "Our president did not sign the GTA agreement. Our general secretary signed it. We can withdraw from the GTA anytime."

The Union Home Secretary is said to have reportedly told the GJM delegation not to resort to agitation. "However, we have made our stand clear that agitation is our last resort," said Giri. The GJM chief had earlier threatened to launch a "militant" stir in the Hills for the Gorkhaland demand.

Meanwhile, the GJM has outrightly rejected Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's proposal for setting up of separate development council for Lepchas. Mamata had said the GTA agreement has a provision for setting up such council. "People should read the GTA Act before saying something about it. There is no provision of setting up a Lepcha Development Council under the GTA Act. So, Lepcha Development Council cannot be formed," said Giri.

During her visit to the Hills,Mamata announced her plans to set up separate development councils for Buddhists and Lepchas, but she did not clarify if those will be set up under the GTA. The Lepchas have no territorial demand but want the council to be outside the purview of the GTA.

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