Tripartite pact will intensify Darjeeling problem: CPI-M (Lead)

July 16th, 2011 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, July 16 (IANS) Alleging that the July 18 Darjeeling tripartite accord would intensify the problems in the West Bengal hills, Leader of Opposition in the assembly Surjya Kanta Mishra, of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Saturday declared that he would stay away from the signing ceremony.

The parties to the agreement are the West Bengal and central governments, and the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM).

Claiming that the government has kept people in the dark about the agreement, Mishra opposed the provision that a nine-member committee would be formed to study the GJM’s demand for extending the jurisdiction of the proposed new development council - Gorkhaland Territorial Administration - beyond the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling district.

“We don’t know anything about the details of the agreement. I was invited by Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee. But we have taken a decision that we will not attend the meeting,” Mishra told a media conference here.

“We are sceptical that this agreement will aggravate the problem rather than solving it. Because at various discussions during the Left Front regime, we had said that the hill authority needs to be an elected one, and second, that the jurisdiction of the hill authority should remain within three sub-divisions of the hills,” he said.

He said his party favoured the area under the hill authority being the same as that of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), set up in the late 1980s, which will be succeeded by the GTA.

“We have never agreed to discuss the issue of including areas of Dooars and Terai, because we are against division of Bengal. We were apprehensive that inclusion of new areas under the hill authority, which the proposed treaty will consider, will create lot of tension and anarchy,” said Mishra.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday announced that the Darjeeling tripartite agreement will be signed on July 18 and union Home Minister P. Chidambaram will attend the function.

The demand for Gorkhaland covering parts of northern Bengal gained momentum during the 1980s under the leadership of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) supremo Subash Ghising.

But the reins of the movement were later taken over by the Bimal Gurung-led GJM which forced Ghising out of the hills.

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