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'Centre will help Bengal resolve the Darjeeling crisis'

July 28, 2008 12:42 IST

The Centre will continue to help the West Bengal government in its efforts to resolve the Darjeeling crisis despite the Left's withdrawal of support to the United Progressive Alliance government, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said.

This assurance was given during a meeting between Mukherjee and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee in Kolkata on Sunday.

"We discussed the Darjeeling problem. He (Bhattacherjee) has given his opinion and I will discuss it with Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil [Images]," Mukherjee told reporters after an hour-long meeting with Bhattacherjee.

The situation in Darjeeling deteriorated after the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is spearheading the campaign for a separate state of Gorkhaland, asked the leaders of  the Gorkha National Liberation Front to leave Darjeeling hills soon.

The chief minister has already requested Patil for tripartite talks to resolve the Darjeeling deadlock.

Commenting on the meeting between Mukherjee and Bhattacherjee, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said, "We are for tripartite talks with the Centre. Discussions on Gorkhaland should be opened".

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