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GJM insists on tripartie meeting

Sticking to the Gorkhaland demand, GJM president Bimal Gurung tonight insisted on a tripartie meeting involving the Centre and West Bengal Govt.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Darjeeling
UPDATED ON JUN 17, 2008 10:29 PM IST

Sticking to the Gorkhaland demand, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung tonight insisted on a tripartie meeting involving the Centre and West Bengal government.

"We will not call off the bandh. We are for a tripartie meeting and the question of withdrawing the bandh will depend on the course of discussions in a tripartite meeting," Gurung told reporters in Darjeeling.

He said West Bengal Chief Minister Bimal Gurung had earlier set precondition for talks with GJM saying discussion could be held keeping aside the seperate statehood demand but now he said the government did not have any precondition for talks.

"It is late now. It would have been better if he had said so earlier", Gurung, who had earlier turned down the chief minister's invitation for talks with him on June 18, said.

He said the 'all-party meeting' convened by GJM here today unanimously passed a resolution demanding creation of Gorkhaland.

Gurung said in the all-party meeting in Kolkata it was stressed to go against division of Bengal, but in our 'all- party meeting' all the parties present have unitedly demanded Gorkhaland. "Now we have to find a way out", he said.

Referring to the statements of union ministers Pranab Mukherjee and PR Dasmunshi opposing Gorkhaland, Gurung said they might be saying this with an eye on Bengal politics and coming Lok Sabha election.

He said only this would not do. "Even Congress MP from Darjeeling Dawa Narbula supported our demand. There should be discussion".

Gurung claimed, "Our demand is within the framework of the Constitution. It is by technical fault that Darjeeling is within West Bengal".

He said GJM would put forth ots views before the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

When pointed out that the all-party meeting in Kolkata in its resolution talked about more economic and administrative powers to the hill council, the GJM chief replied, "what will be the use in giving more power? GNLF Chief Subhas Ghising had settled for the hill council 1988 but that has not solved the problem of the hills".

Gurung said that GJM were "one step ahead" because earlier the state goverment had said "we have to give up Gorkhaland demand, now they are talking of discussion without any condition".

Asked about the suffering of the people in Sikkim due to the blockade of the National Highway 31-A, Gurung said it was a 'technical blockade' as the highway fell within the geographical area where a bandh has been called.

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