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Tenure of GTA Administrative Board sees 6-month extension

Tenure of GTA Administrative Board sees 6-month extension

Darjeeling: The term of the Board of Administrators, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has been extended for another six months, with effect from September 20.

A notification from the Home and Hill Affairs department stated that an Authority (read Board of Administrators) was appointed under the provision of Section 65(b) of the GTA Act 2011, to exercise, discharge and perform all the powers, duties and functions of the GTA.

"The said Authority has been functioning as the Caretaking Authority of the GTA in terms of that Notification, whereas the tenure of the said Authority has been extended from time to time. The last such extension is going to expire on September 19. Now, therefore, the Governor, in terms of the relevant provision of Section 17 (I) of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Act, 2011, is pleased to allow further extension to the aforesaid Authority of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, to function for another period of six months with effect from September 20," stated the notification that came out on September 16.

Incidentally on September 20, 2017, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the formation of an administrative board to run the GTA. The 9-member board had taken charge of the GTA on September 25, 2017, with Binay Tamang as the chairman and Anit Thapa as the vice-chairman. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, with Bimal Gurung at the helm, had launched an agitation on June 2017, which had culminated in a 104-day-long bandh.

On June 23, 2017, Gurung along with 42 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) elected and nominated members tendered their resignations from the GTA.

Gurung and other front-row leaders charged with numerous criminal cases during the agitation period had subsequently gone underground. During the recent MLA by-elections in Darjeeling, Tamang had contested, thereby resigning from the post of chairman.

However, the Hill Opposition parties have vehemently criticised the extension to the BOA. "How can nominated persons run the GTA? We vehemently condemn the extension. We will meet on Thursday to chart the future course of action against this," stated Ajoy Edward, president, GNLF Darjeeling branch committee.

Amitava Banerjee

Amitava Banerjee

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