DARJEELING: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) today termed the West Bengal government's decision to appoint a Board of Administrators to monitor the development of the hills as a "mockery of the people's aspirations".
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said her government had formed a nine-member Board of Administrators (BoA), in place of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), to monitor the development works in the Darjeeling hills.
"Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa have been expelled from the party. The proposal to form a board of governors was not discussed in our party. We are not in its favour. We had unanimously rejected the idea of the GTA, so what is the use of administrators? We feel the solution to the crisis in the hills lies in a tripartite talk on the issue of Gorkhaland," GJM vice-president Kalyan Dewan said.
Both Tamang and Thapa have been inducted into the BoA.
Dewan, who is also the convenor of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), said the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland was in accordance with the "people's aspirations" and nobody should try to ignore it to serve his own interest.
The situation in the hills remained tense, although no incident of violence was reported as the indefinite shutdown in the hills entered its 98th day.
Several shops and markets in the hills remained open, braving threats and intimidation from GJM activists. However, several shops, which had opened yesterday in Mirik and Kurseong, remained closed fearing a backlash from the GJM supporters.
For the 11th consecutive day, the police, along with the administration, appealed to the locals over public address systems to open the shops and restore normalcy in the hills.
Peace rallies were taken out by the locals at Kurseong, Darjeeling and Mirik, while GJM supporters took out rallies in support of Gorkhaland and the ongoing shutdown in certain sections of Darjeeling, Sonada and Kalimpong, the police said.
The chief minister had urged the agitators in Darjeeling to withdraw their strike.
Internet services remained suspended in the hills since June 18.