GNLF supremo Ghishing to challenge GTA in court
Kolkata, June 13 (IANS) Gorkhaland National Liberation Front (GNLF) supremo Subhas Ghishing is all set to challenge in the Calcutta High Court the constitutional validity of the proposed Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) -- a new hill council proposed to run the administration in the North Bengal hills.
"The GTA agreement is in clear contravention of Part IX of the Constitution which deals with the panchayats. Article 243ZC clearly states that the functions and powers of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) cannot be affected in any way as otherwise provided in the Constitution," Ghishing's counsel Arunava Ghosh told IANS.
Ghosh said that as such, to make the GTA valid, the constitution needed to be amended to do away with the DGHC which has not been done.
Ghishing, former chairman of the semi-autonomous DGHC formed in 1988 to run the administration of the Hills, is in Kolkata and slated to file the petition in the Calcutta High Court Thursday.
Ghishing spearheaded the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of the north Bengal hills in the 1980s and was the chairman of the DGHC for two decades. However, Ghishing became virtually irrelevant after his trusted aide Bimal Gurung broke away from the GNLF to form the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in 2007 which has now taken over the mantle of the Gorkhaland movement.
The GJM forced Ghishing to leave the hills in 2008. He returned before last year's assembly polls but fled soon after his party suffered a drubbing.
Ghishing's move is likely to add a new dimension to the GTA issue after the GJM, upset over a high-powered committee's report recommending only five additional areas to be included in the GTA, has threatened to renew agitation in the hills.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has urged the GJM leadership to abide by the panel report, is slated to meet them Saturday to resolve the issue.
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