Didi cheated us, never granted autonomy to GTA, says Gurung

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The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Wednesday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of having "cheated the hill people" by "promising autonomy, which was never granted".

"The people of the hills have been cheated by Didi," GJM president Bimal Gurung said.

"We trusted her and accepted to be a part of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) hoping that through the autonomous hill council she would bring development to the hills. But it was an eyewash. The GTA became a failure the day we had to move the Calcutta High Court seeking judicial intervention in changing the principal secretary to GTA," Gurung said in an exclusive conversation with The Indian Express.

He said it was mentioned in the agreement (for the GTA) that all the old political cases would be withdrawn and the GLP cadres recruited in government service. "But see what she is doing. She did not recruit the GLP cadres, who are disciplined and trained youths from the hills. Instead, she has started picking them up and sending them to jail by framing them in false cases," Gurung added.

He claimed that the West Bengal government did not withdraw any political case against the GJM leaders in the last two years and "now she (Banerjee) is reviving them and arresting our people."

The GJM chief said that though Banerjee did inaugurate several projects, but "I can tell that all of them were old projects".

Meanwhile, state home secretary Basudeb Banerjee today met RD Meena, principal secretary to the GTA. After the meeting, he said, "The GJM allegations are not true. We are trying to bring development to the area and are working towards it. We hope that the political parties would understand the need of development in the area and act accordingly."

His plea notwithstanding, the Morcha supporters blocked a road, forcing the home secretary to shun his car and walk to the DM office in Darjeeling.

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