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Tamang, Thapa, Ghisingh given minister, MOS rank

Statesman News Service | Darjeeling |

The state government has issued an order stating that the Chairman of the Board of Administrators of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), Binoy Tamang, has been granted the rank of a minister-in-charge and that Vice- Chairman Anit Thapa had been granted the rank of Minister of State (Independent Charge).

Monday’s notification to this effect comes after the state government granted the rank and status equivalent to a Minister of State to Mann Ghisingh, the chairperson of the Hill Area Development Committee (HADC) and the president of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) through a notification issued last month.

The developments could further strengthen the status and power of both Mr Ghisingh and Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha leaders Mr Tamang and Mr Thapa, observers said.

“The up-gradation in the protocol shows that good work is being done by the GTA, and this has reflected in the state government’s positive thinking and the ensuing decision,” Morcha spokesperson Suraj Sharma said here on Tuesday.

Morcha core committee member Tshering Dahal added that the chair (post) is not important. “How power can be utilized to work for the people depends from person to person. It is clear as to how the person (Mr Tamang) is working for the people. We have full faith in the GTA chairman and that he will continue to fulfill his duties with utmost sincerity and responsibly,” Ms Dahal said.

On the other hand, GNLF spokesperson Niraj Zimba said, “We are grateful and thankful to the state government for this. Much work for the people can be done through the HADC and with the rank and status being given, provided that the body is allowed to function without interference and it remains autonomous.”

“However, it must be remembered that all these are stop-gap arrangements and we want a long-term credible solution to come forth for the Hills,” he added.