Payback time for Mamata

Mamata Banerjee
Kolkata, June 21: The first month of the new Mamata Banerjee ministry in West Bengal saw fast paced progress on two contentious issues -- the return of land to unwilling farmers of Singur and setting aside of the Gorkhaland demand for a bipartite agreement on Darjeeling.

The Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha put aside its demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland and agreed to a new hill council with more autonomy in a bipartite agreement signed with the West Bengal government, signalling an end of the 15-year-old movement in Darjeeling.

The chief minister, who had earlier stated that she would solve the Darjeeling problem within three months of coming to power, announced on June 7 that her ''magic formula'' of development had led to the breakthrough.

The bipartite agreement, described as "historic" by the chief minister, was signed by GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri and Home Secretary G D Gautama.

Consensus was reached on the formation of a new hill council replacing the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council which would have full administrative, financial and executive powers and be given more autonomy.

"We are satisfied with the talks and will cooperate with the government," Giri later said.

After concluding the Darjeeling chapter, it was the turn of the farmers of Singur who had unwilling parted with their land for the abandoned Tata Motors Nano project and also not accepted compensation cheques to wait for ''Didi'' to fulfill her promise to them. 


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