Gorkhaland issue: GJM seeks talks

Kolkata: As West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has reportedly requested the Centre to put on hold the bills pertaining to granting of Sixth Schedule status to the Darjeeling Hills he should “now come round to the demand for the creation of a new State comprising the hills and certain areas contiguous to it in West Bengal,” the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha leadership said on Friday.
“We ask the Chief Minister to now request the Prime Minister to arrange for tripartite talks on the statehood issue,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told The Hindu over phone from Darjeeling.
Mr. Bhattacharjee met the Union Home Minister in Delhi earlier in the day and reportedly asked him not to go ahead now with the bills related to Sixth Schedule status for the hills in view of the developments in Darjeeling. They discussed the situation in the region.
“The people of the hills have already rejected the Sixth Schedule proposal as well as its architect Subhas Ghising. It is now time for the Chief Minister to come to terms with the Gorkhaland [statehood] demand and impress on the Centre the need for tripartite talks on the issue ,” Mr. Giri said. The GJM, that had earlier dismissed holding of talks with the government on increasing the powers of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council has called for dissolution of the body.
“We will be sending a resolution adopted by the GJM’s central committee to both the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister demanding that the DGHC be dissolved within June 27,” Mr. Giri said. In another development, the pradhans and up-pradhans in Darjeeling Hills have submitted their resignations to the district authorities, GJM spokesperson Benoy Tamang said. This move throws into uncertainty all rural development work routed through these bodies. (Hindu)

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