Kolkata: Amidst objections and sharp comments from the Opposition, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill-2011 was passed with several amendments in the West Bengal Assembly on Friday.

Terming the approval of the bill as an historic decision, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “People have been waiting long to witness the beauty of Kanchenjunga.”

While speaking in the Assembly on The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill 2011, Banerjee said the consent on the Darjeeling agreement has been taken from three sides, Central government, state government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

Sending a word of caution, Banerjee warned the people of not spreading rumours of differences between the Tribals and residents of mountainous region.

She said, “Few people have objected to the Tribal Development Council and so under the leadership of former Justice Shyamal Sen, a committee has been formed which is working in this regard.” She also assured that the interest of the SCs, STs and other backward communities would be safeguarded as per the guidelines of the Constitution.

Elaborating more she said appropriate opportunities would be provided to the Lepcha community and also the appointment of the Group B, C and D would be decided as per the Constitution.

During the discussion in the Assembly on the Bill, Opposition leader Surjya Kanta Mishra proposed to change the name of the Bill to Darjeeling Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill 2011 along with 14 other amendments and urged to send the amendments to the selection committee for consideration.

However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee rejected the proposal. He said, “The Government and the Opposition have already proposed 64 and 16 amendments respectively. Therefore, there is no need of sending any further amendments to the selection committee for consideration.”

(JPN/ Bureau)