Gorkhatimes

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Ghisingh ignored regular job plan – Morcha basks in employment glory that GNLF chief had made little effort to gain

Posted by Ramesh Khati on September 19, 2009

Darjeeling, Sept. 18(The Telegraph): Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung has become a hero for thousands of contract workers of the DGHC, but if Subash Ghisingh had wanted he could have been on the same pedestal 11 years ago without having to make any effort.

The Telegraph has learnt that the state government was willing to regularise the jobs of the contract workers in 1997 and had also approved the DGHC (Recruitment to Group C and Group D and equivalent categories of posts) Rules, 1997.

On September 12, 1997, S.S. Rakshit, deputy secretary (hill affairs), had written to then principal secretary of the DGHC Siddharth: “I am directed to refer… and to say that after careful consideration government approval of (sic) the recruitment rules for Group C and Group D equivalent posts under Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council as mentioned in the enclosed statement.”

The enclosed statement (No 237-HA/O/E-8/95) said the DGHC Rules 1997 “shall come into force on such date as the council may decide”. Ghisingh, the GNLF chief who was then the council chairman, never decided on the date.

According to the rules, the principal secretary of the council was made the appointing authority and while the Group C category could be filled up either through direct recruitment or promotion, recruitment at the Group D level had to be direct.

Candidates had to be selected by a committee appointed by the chairman of the council. The panel of selected candidates, however, was to be approved by the chairman. This essentially means that Ghisingh had been given total freedom on recruitment.

Although the list of candidates was to be obtained from the local employment exchange, enough flexibility had been given to the council to regularise the services of those who were already working on contract. “The candidates who are working on contract/daily wages in the council shall be considered as department candidates”, the rules said.

Political observers believe that Ghisingh could still have been a force to reckon with if he had the backing of the 6000-odd contract workers. “The DGHC workers could not speak against Ghisingh as he would have immediately discontinued their services. However, when the winds of cha-nge started to blow, they did not hesitate to shift loyalties.”

Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said Ghisingh’s brand of politics was self-centred. “It did not matter whether it was anti-people or anti-worker,” said Giri.

The DGHC Rules of 1997 will probably not be followed any more as the Morcha wants regularisation of the jobs of those on contract, not fresh recruitment.

The Morcha also has to ensure that the jobs of 2,815 workers who were appointed by Ghisingh at random are regularised. The DGHC has 3,472 sanctioned posts while the total number of workers in the council stands at 6,287.

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