Gorkhaland Darjeeling Issue : Five-member GJM delegation to attend all-party meet

Mamata Banerjee

In an audio message circulated in the hills, Gurung has said, "Whoever attends the meeting should only talk on the agenda of Gorkhaland". A senior state government official said, "We have sent letters to various parties including the GJM asking them to attend the talks". That's why we are not participating in tomorrow's meeting at Nabanna.

"We expected the state government to send the GMCC a formal letter of invitation as a gesture". If that doesn't happen, leaders from the hill should walkout of the meeting. He allowed leaders such as Dewan, who are more acceptable to other Gorkha parties, to come forward to helm the movement, but in the process, he appears to have lost control over GJM, said a key district official, who asked not to be named.

Dewan said the hill party representatives should remember the sacrifices of the people who died during the movement and numerous others who voluntarily made a decision to suffer for the cause of Gorkhaland. The CM has vowed she won't allow a separate state to be carved out of West Bengal.

On August 13, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to initiate a dialogue with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and other stakeholders to end the deadlock in the Hills.

"Side by side, we will also hold parleys on the impasse in the hills over the past 90 days".

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A day ahead of crucial talks between Gorkha leaders and the state government over the demand for greater Gorkha autonomy, a moderate leadership has emerged, even as Gurung alleged that a section of GJM leaders had sided with the state government. If the state rejects the demand for a separate state for the Nepali-speaking Gorkhas, they should walk out, Gurung said.

Mr Tamang's missive was preceded by a letter by GJM chief Bimal Gurung who wrote to the state government on Wednesday night requesting a "political dialogue" on the demand for a separate state.

"We all want restoration of peace in the Darjeeling hills", she said.

Sources in the state government say it has already been decided that the Gorkhaland demand won't be accepted, but the administration will still urge hill parties to withdraw the over two-month-long stir.

Normal life has been paralysed since June 12 due to an indefinite shutdown called by the GJM, severely impacting the region's economy based on tea, tourism and timber.

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