The GTA Act was passed in the Assembly on 2 September 2011 and sent for approval by the President in December. The project is expected to be finalised in about a week by an ATM COMMITTEE, led by Interior Minister DG Gautama. It is then sent to the State Legal Service for authorization. Faced with the threat of further unrest in Gorkhaland, led by Mr Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM), led by Bimal Gurung, the government led by Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee seems to have accelerated the process of forming an autonomous territorial administration of Gorkhaland (GTA). As part of the move, the Land Government established separate electoral rules for GTA. The government has extended the mandate of the high-level committee headed by retired Judge Shyamal Sen, in charge of completing the GTA territory, by six months, and the president`s vagaries for the GTA law are also expected. According to State Department sources at home, the selection rules proposed by gtA have certain peculiarities that were not part of the DGHC (Election) rules. However, it is not yet clear whether the GTA elections will be organized by the National Electoral Commission (SEC) or whether the government would appoint a special election official, as was the case for the DGHC. Once completed, the gtA Electoral Code regulates direct elections for the 45 proposed gta Sabha constituencies. The Sabha will also have five members appointed by the State government.
These 50 members in turn elect a president from among them. The draft gtA electoral rules, which have about fifty pages, was prepared by the State Ministry of the Interior. It drew provisions of representation from the People`s Law of 1951; Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 and Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (Election) Rules, 1988. «The electoral code of the DGHC provided that elections could only be held on ballot papers. In the proposed gtA rules, we have added the option of EVMs. Since the GTA will be a more powerful autonomous administrative authority, we have added clauses on the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and other measures to curb corrupt practices during elections,» a senior official said. In the final stage, the GTA`s electoral rules will be handed over to the Assembly for ratification, provided that President Pratibha Patil has so far given her approvals to the GTA Law and made it law. . . .