GJM MLAs to quit assembly over Bengal government’s interference

Kolkata, Sep 12 (IANS) Accusing the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government of non-cooperation and interference in the autonomous hill council GTA, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Saturday said its three MLAs will resign from the assembly in protest.

The GJM administered Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) was created in 2011 via a tripartite agreement between the GJM and the state and central governments.

“All our three MLAs from Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong will resign from the state assembly in the upcoming session beginning on September 18,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said.

Giri said the MLAs would hand over their resignation to the assembly speaker on September 23.

Besides interference by the Banerjee government, Giri said the issues behind the decision to resign included the “state government’s inability to open up regional centres for School Service Commission, College Service Commission and Office of Regional Pension and Provident Fund in the Darjeeling hills”.

The decision came days after GJM chief and GTA Chairman Bimal Gurung said the “constant interference” was making it difficult for the GTA to maintain “good relations” with the state government.

“The state government has never bothered to follow the tripartite agreement. Even three years after the agreement, how many departments have they transferred to us,” Gurung said on Wednesday.

The GJM which has been demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of parts of Darjeeling and its neighbouring Jalpaiguri district, asserted it will be forced to hold an agitation if the “interference and the non-cooperation” by the state government continued.

During her visit to Darjeeling in August, Chief Minister Banerjee had announced withdrawal of over 100 cases against GJM leaders and activists that were initiated by police during their separatist movement.

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