The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Sabhasad’s meeting today passed a resolution proposing Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung’s name for the post of the council’s Chief Executive, a post he relinquished before choosing to lead a fresh statehood movement in July this year. GJM leaders, including the GTA Sabhasads, presently participating in a three days program in Delhi for a separate state, were called in for the meeting to give their support. Chairman of the meeting, Bhupendra Pradhan, spoke to media persons announcing the decision to reinstate Gurung as the chief executive. “All the twenty-eight members unanimously supported the name of Gurung as the chief executive and also passed a resolution. We will submit the resolution to the GTA principal secretary seeking immediate election,” he said. Colonel (retired) Ramesh Allay, the acting CE proposed the GJM president’s name for the post citing difficulties in running the council.
At the start of a fresh statehood movement, Gurung had resigned as the GTA chief executive to lead the agitation on July 30. He had even termed the GTA a failure and had threatened to force the forty-five Sabhasads to resign at an opportune time when it went headlong into confrontation with the state government, to give impetus to the statehood agitation. It enforced 44 days strike in the Hills in August-September and also forbade the GTA members to attend office. On October 4, after making up with the state government during Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit to Darjeeling, the GTA Sabhasads had empowered Allay to run the council as the acting chief executive. Today however, the GTA members struck a different note, saying the decision to reinstate Gurung at the helm stemmed from the popular demand of the Hills people. “Wherever we go, people request us to make our party president the GTA chief executive. In fact, many have blamed us for his resignation,” said Pradhan.
When probed further, Allay the acting CE said, “An important body of the state government such as the GTA needs to function full-flegedly and properly. Besides, there are numerous development works that need to be started and completed and for this we need to have a permanent head”.
Jyoti Kumar Rai, executive member of the Road and Transport Department and also the GJM assistant secretary though said the resignation was the fruit of the Telengana state announcement. “When Telengana was announced, our party president was compelled to take this decision politically. However, he did so without consulting the House in a meeting. But now the circumstances have changed,” he said.
Under such a circumstance, R. D. Meena the GTA principal secretary will have to call for a fresh election within ten days from receiving the resolution. prior to that the proposal will have to be placed before the state government for its approval and consent. “When any House or Sabha members pass a resolution it is normally accepted by the state government. We are confident that Gurung will take over the position of the CE within January next year,” said Rai.