Mamata Banerjee: All want GTA elections, to be held soon

Banerjee is currently in Darjeeling on a five-day visit.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee – who is currently in Darjeeling on a five-day visit – said that she hoped elections can be held in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) soon. “All want elections in the GTA,” she said, adding that she hoped it may be held in the next two to three months.

Yesterday, Banerjee handed over assistance to beneficiaries of different state-run schemes at Gossainpur, in the outskirts of Siliguri. She had said that she wants GTA elections and the three-tier polls of Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad to be held soon.

Banerjee today took a stroll in Darjeeling where she interacted with tourists and owners of hotels and restaurants at the Mall. She said most political parties and the people want GTA elections. The panchayat polls are also pending in the hills, which were held in 2000 last. In 1988, after the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council was formed, the Darjeeling zilla parishad got dissolved and a two-tier panchayat system came in.

The Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad was formed in the lines of zilla parishad for rural areas of Siliguri subdivision and kept outside DGHC. “We have asked the Centre to amend a law so that a three-tier panchayat system may be introduced in the hills and rural polls may be conducted,” she said.

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