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Gorkha group rejects invite, again

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had once again invited Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung and his colleagues for talks in Kolkata, reports Tapan Das.

india Updated: Jun 19, 2008 02:13 IST
Tapan Das
Tapan Das
Hindustan Times

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has once again invited Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung and his colleagues for talks in Kolkata on problems of socio-economic development in the hills and the functioning of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).

The offer has however been rejected by the Gorkha outfit, which insisted on a tripartite meeting in Delhi.

The Chief Minister had declared on Tuesday that he was ready for bipartite or tripartite talks. On Wednesday, along with a formal invitation for talks with the GJM, the CM forwarded a copy of the resolution adopted at the all-party meeting at Writers’ Building on Tuesday.

Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb said on Wednesday that the CM has not yet set a date for the meeting as the talks can be held on a mutually convenient date.

Bhattacharjee’s renewed invitation follows the decision of the all-party meeting to continue efforts to get GJM leaders to the negotiating table to seek a political solution of the current impasse and to resolve all contentious issues through dialogue, amity and consensus.

But as had been reaffirmed on Tuesday, although the CM has not set any preconditions for talks with the GJM leaders, the accompanying all-party resolution makes it clear that the present geographical contours of Darjeeling district must be kept intact. This is a rejection of the GJM demand for a separate Gorkhaland state.

The all-party resolution was adopted without the presence of the Trinamool, SUCI, GNLF and Jharkhand Party (Naren). It says that barring the demand for Gorkhaland, the GJM can discuss substantive issues such as more financial powers and expansion of DGHC’s autonomy.