THE HIMALAYAN BEACON NEW DELHI NEWS BUREAU
NEW DELHI, 5TH DECEMBER 2017: Union Home Ministry has made its stand clear over the Tripartite Talks on various issues involving Darjeeling Hills. According to sources, Home Minister Rajnath Singh will meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the 7th of December in Kolkata and press for the revival of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) through proper election before the holding of Tripartite Talks. It may be noted that the tenure of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) had ended in July and the election for the same was slated to for August 2017. However, due to the 104 days long agitation in the Hills the election could not be held.
In October-November 2017 however, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had unilaterally appointed Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa both leaders having parted ways with their one time leader Bimal Gurung, as Chairman and Vice Chairman of Board of Administrators (BOA) of GTA. However, since both Tamang and Thapa cannot be indefinitely maintained as Chairman and Vice Chairman of BOA, elections to the GTA must be held so that the body which has been formed under the West Bengal State Legislative Assembly Act functions as a legitimate body and that political situation in the hills could normalize.
According to sources, the Union Home Ministry is very keen on the restoration of political normalcy which it thinks can only take place after the proper revival of the GTA through the holding of elections to the same. Tripartite Talks could then be held between the Union Government, the State Government and the elected representatives of the GTA.