Centre rules out separate state of Gorkhaland
The Centre rules out any possibility of carving out a separate state of Gorkhaland from West Bengal but is ready for talks.Updated: Jun 14, 2008 18:32 IST
The Centre on Saturday ruled out any possibility of carving out a separate state of Gorkhaland from West Bengal as demanded by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), but said it was ready for talks.
"There is no question of creating a separate state of Gorkhaland," External Affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of Merchants' Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata.
The government, he said, was ready to hold talks with GJM, but without any precondition.
He also held a brief meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee on this issue during the day.
The GJM has renewed the demand for Gorkhaland originally demanded by GNLF chief Subhas Ghising before settling for the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.
GJM had called an indefinite bandh in Darjeeling hills and in some parts of adjoining Terai and Dooars region demanding Gorkhaland on June 10. They had asked all tourists to vacate the hills overnight.
The hill party had relaxed the bandh for 60 hours from 4 pm on June 11 for easy exit of stranded tourists and facilitating the hill people to buy food and essentials.