Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Will conduct audit of funds used by GTA: Mamata Banerjee

Will conduct audit of funds used by GTA: Mamata Banerjee

Expressing sadness over the killing of Indian soldier Dipak Kumar Maity in Kashmir, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday pledged all assistance to his bereaved family.

GJM supporters led by the party chief Bimal Gurung took out the procession and shouted slogan like "Go back Mamata". Mamata got down from her auto, rushed to the youths and wanted to know the reasons for their grievances.

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The chief minister said that some youths showed her black flags when she was on her way to Mirik.

The chief minister questioned the performance of the GTA and accused the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which controls the hill body, of misusing money given from time to time by the state government for development work.

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"We'll conduct a special audit of GTA". The GTA is under the jurisdiction of the state government. "I know people of Darjeeling want development, but the GTA, which is responsible for the job, did nothing for the economic and other development of the Hills", alleged the chief minister. We have never asked the students of the hills to stop learning Nepali, Hindi or English. "So they are trying to drive a wedge between Nepali and Bengali". "It is not compulsory, but if you study Bengali, you will certainly get benefits in securing government jobs", the chief minister said. On July 18, 2011, a tripartite agreement was signed between the GJM, the state and the central governments for setting up a new autonomous, elected GTA, a hill council armed with more powers than its predecessor, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, formed in the late 1980s.

Speaking at a rally in Darjeeling's Mirik, Ms. Banerjee, however, said the language would be optional in the Hills.

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Though the clarification has made the GJM protests over introduction of Bengali in the school curriculum redundant, a spokesperson for the party said the GJM would continue its agitation over it until the proposed bill making Bengali compulsory till Class X was passed with exemption for schools in the hills.

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