In a significant development, a section of the hill leaders agitating for a separate state praised the chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for his sincerity in resolving the hill imbroglio. A decision on renewing the bandh call is expected soon..
A SOFTENING of stand towards the chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and the bandh situation is in evidence among the hill leadership in Darjeeling. In a significant development, a section of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha leadership has welcomed Bhattacharjee’s offer of more autonomy for the hills and was all praise for the chief minister’s sincerity in resolving the hill imbroglio.
No mention has been made yet about resuming the indefinite bandh from July 6 as is scheduled. The Morcha central committee is likely to meet tomorrow to decide whether to renew its call for an indefinite bandh. The Morcha has been under pressure from the Centre not to renew its call for an indefinite bandh because it is severely jeopradising life in the tiny hill state of Sikkim bordering China and also inconveniencing the Indian Army manning frontier posts in the Nathula Pass and elsewhere in Sikkim.
At a public meeting in the Mall Chowrastha, the Morcha secretary, Roshan Giri, central committee member Amar Lama, among others briefed the hill populace about the talks held in New Delhi and Kolkata so far, on Thursday. It was at this meeting that Lama was reported to have said that despite ruling out conceding to the Gorkhaland demand, the chief minister seemed to be sincere and emotional about the hills.
None of the speakers were critical of the state government in any way. Lama was quoted as saying by the local media that Bhattacharjee was a decent person and a gentleman. He may not have agreed with the demand for statehood but that does not make him bad. One cannot politicise everything, he reportedly said. The public outpouring of praise for the chief minister did not seem to go down well with the hardliners, who the media reported, left the meeting. The Morcha president Bimal Gurung was not present at the meeting.
Morcha leaders also seemed happy at the chief minister’s suggestion that a number of bipartite meetings should be held between the government and the hill leaders to pave the ground before embarking on a tripartite meeting. The Morcha is keen on a tripartite meeting where the Centre is expected to participate. The Morcha will be sending a letter to the chief minister on Saturday, July 5, urging him to take steps to arrange for a tripartite meeting. The Morcha now seems to be going about the whole issue slowly and does not want to portray that they are in haste. (Merinews)
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