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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gorkha leader warns of agitation if bill does not fulfill promises..

Gorkha leader warns of agitation if bill does not fulfill promises
ANI, September 3, 2011, Kolkata: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Harka Bahadur Chettri has said people demanding the creation of a separate Gorkhaland state would agitate if the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Bill does not fulfill its promises.
Talking to reporters here on Friday, Chettri said: "If some impediment is created, if the promised autonomy is not given, if at the end of the day people feel that there is no provision, no scope, GTA is not creating any employment, GTA is unable to create infrastructure that it aims to create, in that case, definitely people will take to streets because nobody will have control over people if you fail to deliver GTA," said Chettri.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition, Surya Kanta Misra slammed the state government for passing the bill in haste.
"You see 54 amendments on the part of the government itself show that they have not gone through the bill properly and even after giving 54 amendments, there is one provision that has been passed in the house one of the amendments which is patently unconstitutional," he said.
"The Constitution has no provision for the district level panchayat (council) in the Darjeeling neither the state act have it. They say the central government should agree to amend it in the parliament, but unless it is amended, so long it is not amended, even it is amended, only on the verbal assurance that it will get amended you cannot pass something unconstitutional in the assembly," he added.
A renewed demand for a separate Gorkhaland region, which would include Darjeeling and some contiguous areas of Jalpaiguri District, has created fresh turmoil over the past few months.
The Gorkha population in West Bengal is estimated to be around a million.

Bengal passes GTA Bill with unusual 68 amendments
BS Reporter, Kolkata September 03, 2011:A bill introduced with 68 amendments. Might sound unusual, but it happened in the West Bengal state assembly on Friday as the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill 2011 was passed, creating a record of sorts.
In an effort to satisfy the demands of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the state government has proposed 54 amendments to the Bill before it got passed, while the Opposition proposed 14. “I have never seen this in the history of the West Bengal assembly. This shows the confusion and the lack of knowledge from the part of the Trinamool Congress, as far as Parliamentary democracy is considered. Had we been consulted, this sort of a shame would not have happened to them,” said Surjya Kanta Mishra, CPM leader and the leader of the opposition in the assembly.
Confirming that the move is the first of its kind in the history, Amal Kumar Mukhopadhyay, a veteran political science professor and a former principal of Presidency College, said, “This is an unprecedented move in the history of India. I have never heard that a Bill is introduced with so many amendments at one go.”
This was expected as the GJM, which was unhappy with the Bill, alleging that the government failed to keep its promises given during the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MoA) signed on July 18. Meeting the chief minister Mamata Banerjee, parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee and chief secretary Samar Ghosh, the party leaders had demanded 24 changes to it, for which the government bowed to.
“The Bill was passed fulfilling all our demands,” said said Harka Bahadur Chettri, the GJM spokesperson and the MLA from Kalimpong constituency. The major amendments included the resolution motion moved by Mishra asking the inclusion of the three GJM MLAs to the selected body.
It also gave additional financial and administrative powers to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). It include financial, administrative and executive powers in transport sector, right to maintain Gorkha identity, the power to generate employment along with appointment. It also included the the omission of the word ‘sabha’ to administration, where ever it appeared in the Bill.
Unhappy with the development, Mishra said, “The TMC should learn a lesson from this. They should not carry forward a parliamentary procedure in a hurry, just to appease the crowd.” The agreement was signed on July 18 at Pintail Village near Siliguri by West Bengal home secretary G D Gautama, Union home ministry joint secretary K K Pathak and GJM general secretary Roshan Giri.

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