Monday, July 18, 2011

The signing of historic Gorkhaland pact today

The stage is set for Monday's signing of the milestone agreement between the Centre, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and West Bengal government on the contentious Darjeeling issue at Pintail village near Siliguri. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday arrived in Siliguri and Union home minister P Chidambaram is scheduled to arrive on Monday to sign the treaty which will pave the way for setting up a new hill council 'Gorkhaland Tarritorial Administration'.On the eve of the signing of the agreement, Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM), a prominent voice in the hills, accused the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha of reneging on its promise to create Gorkhaland by agreeing to be a party of the accord on Sunday.

CPRM spokesman Gobinda Chhetri said the Morcha had betrayed the cause of Gorkhaland on whose promise it had fought the last Assembly election and won. Plains-based organisations Amra Bangali, Jana Jagaran and Jana Chetana have called a 48-hour north Bengal bandh to protest against the treaty.

The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, which opposes inclusion of areas of Dooars and Terai regions in the GTA, has given the moral support to the bandh, its Terai unit president Nicodene Minj said. ABAVP secretary Birsa Tirkey said, "We are not against the tripartite agreement, but against inclusion of areas of Dooars and Terai in the GTA.'

On saturday, CPI-M leader Surya Kanta Mishra had complained that opposition parties had not been consulted prior to signing of the agreement.

Mishra, who is also the Opposition leader in the Assembly, said the proposed name of the new hill council 'Gorkhaland Territorial Administration' was misleading and confusing and was bound to create disunity in the Darjeeling hills.

West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee was given a warm welcome by the hills people who lined the road of his journey from Bagdogra to Sukna. She got down from her vehicle and talked to them and discussed their problems. She also visited the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary near Siliguri.

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