The GJM today said it will stick to its demand for a separate Gorkhaland state during its political-level meeting with the Centre next week.
GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said the party has been invited to Delhi for the meeting on January 25 where it will to press for its demand for Gorkhaland to be carved out from West Bengal.
"We will attend the meeting. We have received a letter addressed to our party president Bimal Gurung from the honourable Union Home Minister (P Chidamabaran) for a discussion on January January 25," Giri told PTI over phone from Darjeeling.
"We expect the central government will clear its stand on our demand for Gorkhaland," he said. Asked whether the GJM will pursue the constitution of the interim regional authority in Darjeeling to replace the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, he replied, "Interim authority is their proposal. Our demand is Gorkhaland." Asked whether the GJM would call off the ongoing, seven-day bandh since January 18 in the Darjeeling hills in view of the talks, he said, "That we have not discussed."
Besides himself, a five-member GJM team led by Gurung would attend the meeting. The others would be central committee members Harka Bahadur Chetri, L B Pariyar and Dr Rohit Sharma.
Meanwhile, state Home Secretary G D Gautama told reporters that Chidambaram has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee informing him about the meeting. Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharjee would represent the state government at the meeting.
Giri also said that the GJM chief's padayatra from Garubathan in Kalimpong subdivision to Sankosh in the Dooars from January 18 has been stopped at Kumai on the fringe of the Dooars by Jalpaiguri Police.
The district administration has imposed Section 144 CrPC on the Dooars. "It is a peaceful padayatra, but the government is creating unnecessary hurdles," he claimed.