Kolkata: Raising strong voice against the delay in the implementation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) agreement, the GJM leaders said they still stick to their demand for separate statehood.

Putting forth the demand to declare Darjeeling as backward region, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri threatened to launch fresh agitation in Darjeeling Hills if the state government fails to implements the GTA accord.

In this regard, Giri also met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to sort out the issue. “We want the GTA to be implemented at the earliest,” Giri said, while speaking to mediapersons here on Saturday.

He said, "We requested the Chief Minister to take steps so that Darjeeling is included in backward region. She wondered why this has not yet been done."

He said the draft GTA Bill has been sent by the state government to the President for her assent and it was now being studied by various ministries. "Once the presidential assent is received, the GTA Bill will have to be passed in the West Bengal Assembly."

However, Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh said he would write to the Centre for inclusion of Darjeeling among the backward regions as demanded by the GJM.

Stating that the GJM also wanted some mouzas of Terai and Dooars areas brought under the GTA, Giri said the high power committee looking into the matter should speed up its work.

Regarding the GJM's demand for employing the hill youth in the police and para-military, Ghosh said no such policy can be taken separately for the Darjeeling hills.

"As an when vacancies arise, recruitment camps will be set up there. The youth can always apply then," the Chief Secretary added.

JPN/Bureau