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Formation of GTA in process: Chidambaram

New Delhi, Wed, 29 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 29 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday rubbished reports that there was a delay in the formation of a Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), and said that there is a process, which has to be followed.


"The present area of the GTA is the same area that was under the earlier Gorkha Hill Development Council. The present Bill is to empower the GTA. I have already explained that there is a process to get the President's assent on a bill and that process has been followed," said Chidambaram.


"We have been able to reconcile the viewpoints of the six ministries departments and the Government of West Bengal. The Home Secretary told me earlier today that the views have been reconciled; he will put up the file to me for my approval and then submission to the President. There has been no delay, this is a process, and everybody is interested in the product, but I have to go through a process before we reach a product," he added.


According to reports, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders, led by their president Bimal Gurung, had met Chidambaram earlier this week over the issue during which the latter assured them that GTA Bill will be sent to the president for assent in the next few days as soon as the comments of the ministries concerned are received by the Ministry of Home Affairs.


It may be recalled here that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had earlier on February 22 assured West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that the Ministry of Home Affairs is expeditiously processing the Bill in the light of the issues raised by various ministries and the comments of the state governments


Dr. Singh had assured Banerjee that the Ministry of Home Affairs will complete the processing of the Bill soon.


The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) is a semi-autonomous administrative body for the Darjeeling Hills in West Bengal, India. The GTA will replace the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, which was formed in 1988 and administered the Darjeeling hills for 23 years. (ANI)


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