GJMM stance is to attend meet but not participate in chief&’s election
STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Darjeeling, 4 September
The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) meeting, convened by its principal secretary, Mr R D Meena to elect the new chief today, has fizzled out for lack of quorum. The election is necessitated by the GTA chief executive, Mr Bimal Gurung having quit the post on 30 July.
A day before the scheduled meeting, Mr Gurung had made his party&’s stance clear ~ the GTA members would attend the meeting, but would not participate in the chief&’s election.
“We would stick to this stance till all the GTA members and the other party activists now behind bars are released,” he had in Darjeeling yesterday.
Today, the councillors acted according to the script as the meeting began at Gorkha Rangmanch Bhavan at 12 p.m. Mr Meena, the chairman, Mr Bhupendra Pradhan and deputy chairman, Mr Lopsang Yolmo arrived one after another.
Two GTA members, Mr P T Ola and Mr Tilok Chand Roka arrived a little later and said they would submit a petition.
“The elected members filed a petition that says that they will take part in the election only after ten GTA members and other party activists now in jails are released. It was signed by 29 members,” Mr Pradhan said.
He further said the rule of quorum had also come in the way of the meeting. “As per rules, one-third of the members are required to be present. But most of the members today absented themselves,” he added.
The GTA Sabha has 45 elected members ~ all from the GJMM and five nominated members ~ three from the Trinamul Congress and two from the GJMM.
Ten elected members who are now behind bars now are Mr Mahendra Pradhan, Mr Binay Tamang, Mr Satish Pokharel, Mr Anush Thapa, Mr Pranay Thapa, Mr Yogendra Rai, Mr Prabha Chhetri, Mr Anit Thapa, Mr Nima Tamang and Mr Kalyan Dewan.
According to the Darjeeling superintendent of police, about 1,025 GJMM cadres have been arrested so far since the renewed statehood stir began in July-end.
Mr Meena said: “I have received the petition through the chairman and it is being forwarded to the state government.”