Darjeeling, 28th March: The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Chairman Anit Thapa, on Sunday, announced to step down from the post after several speculations surfaced regarding the Election Commission of India (ECI) removing him from GTA.
It is to be noted that a full bench of the Election Commission of India conducted a review of 19 districts for poll preparedness, in Siliguri on Tuesday and Wednesday. Officials of 8 districts of North Bengal attended the meeting with officials of 11 districts through video-conferencing.
During the said meeting, in response to a question regarding Anit Thapa holding office during Model Code of Conduct despite being a political appointee, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora directed Sudeep Jain, Deputy Election Commissioner and In-charge of West Bengal, to look into the matter and initiate necessary action.
Following this, Anit Thapa, on Sunday released a statement stating, "There was a lot of noise about ECI removing me from GTA for the election period but till date the GTA hasn’t received such order but I feel for free and fair elections I should step down as GTA chairman till the elections as I know we are going to win all three seats in Darjeeling hills and there should be no criticism later on that I used my position to influence the voters."
He went on to say that he will be stepping down as GTA Chairman till the Model Code of Conduct is in force and concentrate on the campaign for his party's candidates. He asserted that he is "not greedy about the chair or position" and only aspires to reach out to the common people who have decided to support his party's "Naya Soch and Naya Bichar" ideology.