For the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leadership, the deadlock over the holding of elections to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has, at least for now, been resolved with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee having agreed to induct in the proposed body nominated representatives of the areas in the Terai and the Dooars that are to be included within the GTA.
“The government and our representatives will get together to jointly nominate representatives from those areas in the Terai and the Dooars that are to be included within the territorial jurisdiction of the GTA as per the recommendations of the high-power committee,” GJM president Bimal Gurung said on his way back to Darjeeling on Sunday, a day after he and his colleagues met Ms. Banerjee here.
“It is good that the deadlock has been resolved; we are satisfied,” Harka Bahadur Chettri, senior GJM leader and member of the high-power committee set up to look into the question of inclusion of areas in the Terai and the Dooars within the GTA's jurisdiction, told The Hindu. The committee is expected to submit its recommendations in June.
Saturday's meeting between the GJM and Ms. Banerjee was an exercise in reconciliation, coming at a time when there appeared distinct signs of restiveness in the Darjeeling hills over the future of the GTA.
The GJM agreed to climb down from its earlier stand that elections to the GTA can only be held after the inclusion of the Gorkha-dominated mouzas within the jurisdiction of the body it has been demanding in the Terai, Dooars and Rajgunj block of Jalpaiguri district. The Chief Minister, on her part, was amenable to idea of nominating in the GTA representatives from these areas in consultation with the GJM. Her move seems to have taken care of the GJM's demand for the setting up of a nominated body till the GTA elections are held and the new body is put in place.