Gorkhaland Territorial Administration

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Gorkhaland Territorial Administration
Logo of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration
Type
Type
Term limits
5 years
History
Founded2012; 10 years ago (2012)
Preceded byDarjeeling Gorkha Hill Council
Leadership
Chief executive
Anit Thapa, BGPM
since 2022
Deputy chief executive
Sanchabir Subba, BGPM
since 2022
Chairman
Anjul Chauhan, BGPM
since 2022
Deputy chairman
Rajesh Chauhan, BGPM
since 2022
Structure
Seats50
GTA Election Result 2022.svg
Political groups
Government (37)
  BGPM: 29
  AITC: 5
  IND: 3

Opposition (8)

  HP: 6
  IND: 2

Other (5)

  Nominated 5
Elections
First-past-the-post voting
Last election
2022
Next election
2027
Website
Gorkhaland Territorial Administration
Footnotes
  • Area: 3,303.98 km²
  • Population : 878,002
  • Density : 270/km²

The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration is a semi-autonomous council for the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of West Bengal state in India. The GTA was formed in 2012 to replace the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, which was formed in 1988 and administered the Darjeeling hills for 23 years.[1][2]

GTA presently consists of three hill subdivisions Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik, some areas of Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district and the whole of Kalimpong district under its authority.[3]

History[edit]

Gorkhaland is the name of the proposed state in India that the Nepali-speaking Indian Gorkha ethnic group in the district of Darjeeling and Kalimpong and the Dooars in northern region of West Bengal have expressed a desire to create. A demand for a separate administrative unit in Darjeeling has existed since 1909, when the Hillmen's Association of Darjeeling submitted a memorandum to Minto-Morley Reforms demanding a separate administrative setup. The term Gorkhaland was coined by Subhash Ghisingh, leader of Gorkha National Liberation Front, who led a violent agitation for its formation in the 1980s.[4] This movement culminated with the formation of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) in 1988. The DGHC did not fulfill its goal of forming a new state, which led to the downfall of Subhash Ghisingh[5] and the rise of another party Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) headed by Bimal Gurung in 2007, which launched a second agitation for a Gorkhaland state.[6]

Formation of GTA[edit]

After three years of agitation for a state of Gorkhaland led by GJM, the GJM reached an agreement with the state government to form a semi-autonomous body to administer the Darjeeling hills.[7] A bill for the creation of GTA was passed in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly on 2 September 2011.[8] The GTA aimed to have administrative, executive and financial powers but no legislative powers. A 10-member joint verification committee headed by a retired High Court judge examined the demand to bring the Gorkha-inhabited pockets of the Dooars and the Terai under the GTA.[9]

Memorandum of Agreement[edit]

The Memorandum of Agreement[10] for GTA was signed on 18 July 2011 at Pintail Village near Siliguri in the presence of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the then Darjeeling Lok Sabha MP Jaswant Singh and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders.[11] The agreement was signed by West Bengal Home Secretary G.D. Gautama, Union Home Ministry Joint Secretary K.K. Pathak and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri.[12]

Demand for GATA[edit]

On 29 October 2011, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad (ABAVP), Dooars Unit signed an 18-point agreement at Mongpoo, after which these organizations jointly proposed a new administrative body called the Gorkhaland and Adivasi Territorial Administration (GATA) in place of the GTA.[13] The ABAVP decided to agree to incorporate 196 mouzas of the Dooars and 199 mouzas of the Terai region into the proposed GATA.[14]

President's assent and high-power committee report[edit]

The President of India Pratibha Patil gave her assent to the GTA Bill of West Bengal on 7 March 2012.[15] The West Bengal government issued a gazette notification for the GTA Act on 14 March 2012, signalling preparations for elections for the GTA.[16] In a meeting held on 24 March 2012 between GJM leaders and the West Bengal government, it was decided that the election to the GTA would be held in the end of June or in July 2012. [17] The Justice Sen Committee would be requested to submit its report on the inclusion of additional areas of Terai and Dooars in the GTA by early June 2012.[18] The WB government released a list of 45 constituencies of the GTA on 26 May 2012 to which elections are to be held in July 2012.[19] The high-powered committee headed by retired judge Shyamal Kumar Sen that was set up by the West Bengal government recommended inclusion of just five mouzas under the proposed GTA although the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had demanded 398 mouzas from the Dooars and Terai regions.[20] The West Bengal government announced that it would set up a three-member "Fact Verification Committee" to go into the recommendations of Justice Sen Committee after the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha rejected its report.[21] The Calcutta High Court admitted on 19 June 2012 the case moved by Gorkha National Liberation Front leader Subhash Ghisingh challenging the legality of the GTA. Justice Dipankar Dutta told the three signatories to the GTA agreement – the central government, the state government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha – to file affidavits stating their stand on Ghisingh's contention.[22]

GTA election 2012[edit]

The West Bengal government announced that the election for the GTA would be held on 29 July 2012.[23] The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha announced that it would contest the GTA polls, which it had earlier threatened to boycott over the Justice Sen-headed committee recommendations on territorial inclusion of the Dooars and Terai that it had rejected.[24] After a period of silence, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha announced the names of its GTA election nominees.[25][26] Parties that formed the Gorkhaland Task Force (CPRM, ABGL, GNLF(C), Gorkhaland Rajya Nirman Morcha and others) decided not contest the GTA elections.[27] Both CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress fielded candidates in the election.[28] The GNLF decided to boycott the elections and its chairman filed a case in the Kolkata High Court challenging the GTA.[29] The CPI(M) withdrew the nominations of all its 13 candidates from the GTA elections, alleging threats and intimidation by the GJM[30] and the GJM received 28 seats of the GTA uncontested.[31] In the elections of the remaining 17 seats of the GTA held on 29 July 2012, GJM candidates won from all the constituencies.[32] Sanchabir Subba, the rebel Gorkha Janmukti Morcha candidate from Gitdabling-Nimbong, narrowly lost to the party's official contestant Kalyan Dewan by 677 votes.[33] The newly elected members of the GTA were sworn in on 4 August 2012 at Darjeeling in the presence of home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee.[34]

Summary of results of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration election, 2012[35]
Political Party Seats Contested Seats Won Net Change in Seats
GJM 45 45 First election
AITC 17 0 First election

2017 agitation and GTA under appointed administrators[edit]

In 2017, there was another agitation for Gorkhaland in the Darjeeling hills.[36] The GTA councillors belonging to GJM resigned and burnt copies of the GTA memorandum of agreement and the GTA Act in June 2017, saying that the GTA had failed to fulfill the aspirations of the people.[37] On 20 September 2017, the West Bengal government reconstituted the GTA and appointed rebel GJM leader Binoy Tamang as its chairperson.[38] Before the 2019 Darjeeling assembly bye-election, Binoy Tamang stepped down as GTA chairman to contest the assembly bye-election. Anit Thapa was appointed the new GTA chairman.[39] Before the 2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, the West Bengal government dissolved the Anit Thapa-led GTA Board of Administrators and handed over the administration of GTA to the GTA principal secretary.[40]

GTA election 2022[edit]

After running the GTA with government-appointed administrators for 5 years (2017-2022), the West Bengal government announced that the election for the second GTA Sabha would be held on 26 June 2022.[41] A total of 277 candidates, including 45 from Hamro Party, 36 from Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha, 12 from CPIM, 10 from Trinamool Congress, 5 from Congress and 169 independents, contested the GTA election.[42] All elected members of the GTA Sabha took oath on 12 July 2022 in Darjeeling in a function that was attended by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.[43] On 14 July 2022, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar administered the oath of office to Anit Thapa as the Chief Executive of GTA.[44] The five members of the GTA Sabha nominated by the West Bengal government took oath on 25 August 2022.[45] Two Hamro Party councillors of the GTA joined Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha on 5 November 2022.[46]

Summary of results of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration election, 2022
Political Party Seats Contested Seats Won Net Change in Seats
HP 45 8 First election
BGPM 36 27 First election
AITC 10 5 +5
CPI(M) 12 0 First election
INC 5 0 First election
Independent (169 contestants) 45 5 +5

Regional political parties of Gorkhaland[edit]

Social organisations supporting Gorkhaland[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Agreement signed". Outlook. 18 July 2011. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  2. ^ Dutta, Ananya (18 July 2011). "Pact signed for Gorkhaland Territorial Administration". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Gorkhaland Territorial Administration". gtadmin.org. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Interview with Subhash Ghisingh". Darjeeling Times. 11 January 2008. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Subhas Ghising resigns". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  6. ^ "GJM leader Bimal Gurung". The Hindu. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Darjeeling issue solved: Mamata". Express Buzz. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  8. ^ "GTA Bill passed with 54 amendments". The Times of India. 3 September 2011. Archived from the original on 6 November 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Ex-judge to head hill committee". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  10. ^ "Full text of GTA MoA" (PDF). Darjeeling Times. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA)". Indian Gorkhas. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Agreement signed". Outlook. 18 July 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  13. ^ "Plea to rename Gorkha council". Zee News. 30 October 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  14. ^ "GJMM-ABAVP joint deputation on GATA". The Statesman. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  15. ^ "President gives her assent to the GTA Bill". Hindustan Times. 7 March 2012. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  16. ^ "Gorkha territory readies for polls". The Times of India. 15 March 2012. Archived from the original on 22 April 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  17. ^ "High-powered committee on GTA emerges as a perfect instrument to resolve impasse". Hindustan Times. 24 March 2012. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  18. ^ "GJM climbs down GTA demand, says polls in June–July". Outlook. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  19. ^ "Gorkhaland Territorial Administration draft lists 17 new constituencies". The Times of India. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Darjeeling might be violent again". The Economic Times. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  21. ^ "Govt to set up Fact Verification committee on GJM demand". Business Standard. Press Trust of India. 16 June 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  22. ^ Legal, Our (20 June 2012). "HC allows Ghisingh GTA plea – Affidavit order for govts & Morcha". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  23. ^ "State sets July 29 date for GTA polls". The Times of India. 26 June 2012. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  24. ^ "Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to contest GTA elections". The Hindustan Times. 30 June 2012. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  25. ^ Chhetri, Vivek (5 July 2012). "GTA list of 32 but no Gurung". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  26. ^ Chhetri, Vivek (6 July 2012). "Gurung in GTA fray". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  27. ^ "GJM faces heat from rival parties for strong-arm tactics". Yahoo News. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  28. ^ "Darjeeling GTA election is taking one sided shape". The Economic Times. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  29. ^ Dam, Marcus (29 June 2012). "Gurung challenges Ghising to contest GTA polls". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  30. ^ "All CPI-M candidates pull out of Gorkhaland polls". News track India/IANS. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  31. ^ Chhetri, Vivek; Sinha, Avijit (13 July 2012). "Morcha gets 28, Gurung thanks CPM". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  32. ^ "GJM sweeps maiden GTA polls, not to give up Gorkhaland demand". Darjeeling Times/IANS. 2 August 2012. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  33. ^ Ravidas, Rajeev (3 August 2012). "Lone rebel Subba loses". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  34. ^ "Gorkha Territorial Administration members sworn in; Shinde, Mamata assure support". The Times of India. 5 August 2012. Archived from the original on 4 August 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  35. ^ "GTA Elections 2012". Darjeeling.gov.in. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  36. ^ "2017: The year when Darjeeling hills simmered in Gorkhaland movement". The New Indian Express. 26 December 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  37. ^ "Violence in Hills: GJM burns copies of GTA Accord and Act". Millennium Post. 28 June 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  38. ^ "Mamata reconstitutes GTA, appoints Binoy Tamang chairperson". The Hindu. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  39. ^ "Tamang resigns from post of GTA chairman". Millennium Post. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  40. ^ "GTA Board Dissolved, Administration Handed Over to Principal Secretary". Kalimpong News. 29 March 2021. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  41. ^ "GTA Election 2022: Bengal Election Commission Announces Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Poll Dates". ABP Live. 27 May 2022. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  42. ^ "GTA elections: 210 of 318 candidates are Independents". The Indian Express. 27 June 2022. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  43. ^ "Want friendship, no fight: Mamata Banerjee to new Gorkhaland admin". East Mojo. 13 July 2022. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  44. ^ "WB Governor administers oath to GTA office bearers, warns of yearly audit". The Hindu. 15 July 2022. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  45. ^ "5 nominated GTA Sabhasads take oath". Millennium Post. 26 August 2022. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  46. ^ "Two Hamro Party GTA Sabhasads cross over to BGPM". Millennium Post. Retrieved 28 November 2022.

External links[edit]