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Buddha gets parties to back him

The West Bengal government managed a victory of sorts in the ongoing battle over the Gorkhaland issue by getting an all-party meeting on Tuesday to adopt a resolution rejecting the demand for a separate state.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2008 01:20 IST

The West Bengal government managed a victory of sorts in the ongoing battle over the Gorkhaland issue by getting an all-party meeting on Tuesday to adopt a resolution rejecting the demand for a separate state.

But it was a fractured consensus as four of the 16 political parties, including the two main Opposition parties — Trinamool Congress and SUCI — abstained from the meeting that adopted the resolution unanimously.

In Darjeeling an all-party meeting called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha adopted a resolution reiterating the demand for separate statehood and calling upon the Centre to create Gorkhaland comprising the Darjeeling district and the contiguous Dooars area of Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.

Parties which attended the meeting called by the GJM included the Congress, the BJP, the Trinamool and 10 other parties.

“We have already communicated the demand for a tripartite meet in Delhi. We are expecting that we will be invited for talks in Delhi soon,” GJM leader Bimal Gurung said after the meeting.

“If leaders from Bengal can come together to oppose Gorkhaland then why can’t the Gorkhas unitedly fight for Gorkhaland?” Gurung asked.

In Kolkata, neither Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee nor state Congress chief and Union minister P.R. Dasmunsi criticised the GJM or any other party for raising the demand for Gorkhaland. “We are all keen that all the contentious issues must be resolved through a political solution. We must show abundant patience and both the Centre and the state government must jointly make efforts through dialogue and peaceful negotiations,” Bhattacharjee said.

Asked if the state government would accept the GJM’s demand for tripartite talks with the Centre, Bhattacharjee replied, “We have no objection to any bipartite or tripartite talks. We are not for any confrontation. We will also inform the Centre about the outcome of the all-party meeting."