Soft on talks, tough on CM

Siliguri, May 9: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is open to the idea of a dialogue with the chief minister but will be happy if the Centre was involved in the process.
“We do not mind a one-to-one with him, although what we actually want is a tripartite meeting with the state and Central governments,” said Binay Tamang, the media and publicity secretary of the Morcha.
The Morcha leader, however, added that the chief minister expressing his desire to the media to sit with us alone was not enough. “He has to write to us officially.”
In Calcutta, Bhattacharjee confirmed that he has “got a letter from those presently agitating in the hills”.
“Let me first discuss it with my ministers and then I will talk about it. We don’t want to make any distinction between the hills and the plains. We want peace to prevail in Darjeeling,” Bhattacharjee told journalists. Last week, he had told a private news channel that the people of the hills should come forward with their demands.
Alleging a communication gap within the government, Tamang said at the very beginning of the Morcha agitation, the party had sent communiqués to the state and central governments and also the chief minister with three demands.
The first two, the removal of Subash Ghisingh as caretaker administrator of the DGHC and the scrapping of the bill conferring Sixth Schedule status on the hills, were met. The third was the demand for Gorkhaland.
“Since then many things have happened in the hills and plains…Despite that, the chief minister recently said he was not aware of our demands,” he added.
In Kalimpong, the Morcha accused the CPM of giving a “criminal colour” to a “democratic movement”. Ridiculing the attempt to link party secretary Roshan Giri to explosives seized in Malaguri, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, a central committee member of the Morcha, said: “Had there been any truth in the allegation, they wouldn’t have waited so long to mention the names. Anybody can see through their tactics.” (The Telegraph)


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