West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is on a five-day visit to North Bengal, called for polls to establish a new Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) body in the Hills. She hinted that the GTA elections may be organised in May or June. She said, “I want the GTA polls to be held in May-June.”
She added, “There are two-tier rural bodies existing in the Hills. We have requested the Centre to implement the three-tier rural body system, so that we can hold the three-tier rural body polls in the Hills. Only Roshan Giri of GJM’s Bimal Gurung faction and Hamro Party’s Ajay Edwards also said they will support this. They want peace and prosperity.”
She also referred to the pending panchayats polls of the hills, which were held back in 2000 the last time. Back in 1988, after the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council was formed, the Darjeeling Zilla Parishad got obliterated and a two-tier panchayat system came in the hills. In the due course of her speech, she also asked the Darjeeling Trinamool president, to start working for the three-tier elections of the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad.