Saturday, August 08, 2009

GJMM team heads for tripartite dialogue in New Delhi on 11 August

Darjeeling, 7 AUG.A four-member delegation of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha left for Delhi today to attend the third round of tripartite talks scheduled for August 11.

Amar Lama, Jyoti Rai, Rohit Sharma and Neelkama Chhetri are the four who reached Delhi today. The Morcha will be represented by a 12-member delegation at the meeting convened by the central government. The third party to take part in the talks will be the state government.

The media and publicity secretary of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha, Mr Harka Bahadur Chettri today said that they might take up the controversial salary disbursement issue of the Darjeeling hill municipalities at the tripartite dialogue slated in New Delhi on 11 August.
“We would make it clear in course of the talks that the decision to disburse salary to the hill-based civic body employees by the chairmen of the now- dissolved municipalities is a step taken in the interest of the people. We were apprehensive that the salary disbursement process would have been held up until elections were held to the civic bodies,” he said.
The GJMM leader further said that the people of the hills were with them on the issue. “We value this more than any state law. And our stand is clear that as we are leading a non- cooperation movement we do not regard state law as sacrosanct,” he said.
Slamming the state government for making a mountain out of a molehill over the issue, Mr Chettri said that the state had kept the CPI-M sponsored men at the helms of the Kalimpong Municipality for years during the earlier phase of the GNLF movement.
“This aside, it kept the Ghising dispensation in power at the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council by way of extending terms for nearly two years. Given these precedents, it has no right to join issue with my party concerning the salary disbursement matter. We would not accept double standards,” the GJMM leader affirmed.
Rejecting the GJMM criticism, the state urban development and municipal affairs minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya today said that the salary disbursement on the part of the dissolved civic body chairmen was illegal and the state government has sent letters to the former civic body chairmen spelling out the state's stand on the matter. “We have also written a letter to the Darjeeling district magistrate asking him to take appropriate action against those involved in the illegal acts,” he said