GJM submits list of demands to CM, again seeks total autonomy
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The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) on Saturday renewed its demand for "total autonomy" in Darjeeling Hills and expressed displeasure over delay in transfer of departments to the recently-constituted Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
A six-member GJM delegation led by the party's general secretary Roshan Giri today met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and submitted a list of demands that include transfer of land and land revenue to GTA. The meeting was attended by the chief secretary and home secretary. A total of 59 departments are set to be transferred to the GTA.
"We want all the departments to be transferred immediately. Manpower, financial power, properties of these departments have to be transferred. But only 26 departments have so far been transferred. We have submitted our demands to the Chief Minister. We want full autonomy because GTA is an autonomous body. We want separate school and college service commissions under GTA. Recruitment of certain category of staff required concurrence of the state government. We do not want the government concurrence be taken since we enjoy autonomy," Giri said. He said the "land and land revenue" have to be transferred to the GTA.
Deputy chief of GTA Ramesh Allay said: "We expected more moujas would be included in the GTA. Out of 395 moujas we demanded, we got only five. The state government has set up a fact-finding committee to consider whether more moujas could be included. We will send our recommendation on this issue within a fortnight." The issue has not been taken up "sincerely", he said.
When asked how Banerjee reacted to their demands, Allay said: "She advised us to strengthen GTA". "Out of Rs 200 crore promised to be given to GTA by the Centre each year, only Rs 85 crore has been given. The state government has provided Rs 173 crore from non-plan budget."
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