West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday formed a nine-member board of administrators to govern areas under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in Darjeeling, ANI reported. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Binay Tamang was appointed the board’s chairperson.
The state government said the board would undertake development work in the hills, The Indian Express reported. “Today, we have taken a decision to form a board of administrators that will enjoy the same power as of the administrator of GTA,” said Chief Minister Banerjee.
According to reports, the board will continue to function till an election was held in GTA. All the 45 elected members of the GTA, including its chief executive Bimal Gurung, had resigned from the administrative body after months of turmoil.
The unrest in the Darjeeling hills began on June 15, when Banerjee had announced her decision to make Bengali compulsory in state-run schools. While she said the hill districts would be exempted from the rule, the GJM began an agitation that soon turned into a revival of the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.