|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Darjeeling unrest: Centre, GJM ready for talks
June 14, 2008 14:51 IST
Last Updated: June 14, 2008 21:23 IST
The Centre on Saturday expressed its willingness for a dialogue with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, which in turn declared that Gorkhaland was not a separatist demand.
Stating that the government was willing to talk to the GJM, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who held a brief meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, said, "There is no question of creating a separate state of Gorkhaland."
Responding to Mukherjee's statement, GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri told PTI from Darjeeling "We are ready for talks with the Centre. At the same time, the government should not think that Gorkhaland is a separatist demand. We will go to Delhi to meet Central government leaders and tell them of our grievances."
GJM president Bimal Gurung, who rejected Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya's offer of talks on Friday, reiterated that he would not sit for talks with Bhattacharya.
Nonetheless, the Left Front entrusted the chief minister the task of opening dialogue with the GJM.
"The rejection of Buddhadeb Bhattacharya's invitation to the GJM to attend a meeting on June 18 does not mean the process of discussion is over," Left Front chairman Biman Bose said.
Bose also ruled out inviting the GJM to the June 17 all party meeting on the ground that 'it is not a registered party'.
Meanwhile, with the GJM relaxing its indefinite bandh till 6 am on Monday, truckloads of foodstuff and essentials were being sent to the Darjeeling hills to ease the situation.
According to Darjeeling District Magistrate Rajesh Pandey, fifty trucks carrying essentials were sent to Darjeeling till today morning and more were on the way.
The GJM was helping the administration in sending food and essentials to the hills, he said.
Siliguri SDO Smita Pandey said that though life had returned to normal in Siliguri, the administration was still taking precautionary measures.
Five companies of the Central Reserve Police Force deployed on Friday would continue to stay and prohibitory orders under section 144 CRPC promulgated in areas under Siliguri and Badhannagar police station would continue today, she said.