Meet fails to resolve Gorkhaland impasse

Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Saturday, June 28, 2008 02:36 IST

KOLKATA: The bipartite meeting on Friday between the West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) on the continuing Darjeeling impasse failed to come up with a concrete solution, with both parties sticking to their respective stands.

The deadlock could not be broken as the GJM delegation did not accept the chief minister’s offer for greater financial autonomy to Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) in place of the GJM’s demand for the separate Gorkhaland state.

After the meeting, the leader of the GJM delegation Amar Lama told reporters that although the chief minister had offered greater financial autonomy to DGHC, they had rejected it outright. “Our only demand is a separate Gorkhaland state,” Lama said.

According to him, the main purpose of the GJM delegation to attend the Friday’s meeting was to make the groundwork for the tripartite meeting with the Union and the state government. “The chief minister has told us that he has no objection to attending the tripartite meeting,” Lama said.

Later, Bhattacharjee told reporters that the state government has no in-principal objection to attending the tripartite meeting. “However, I feel that the tripartite meeting should be preceded by some rounds of bipartite discussions to find a political solution to the continuing impasse. Attending the tripartite meeting straight away will be too premature,” Bhattacharjee said.

He also said that it is always better to approach the Union government only after the state government and the GJM together find out a solution through bipartite discussions. “If we go to any tripartite meeting without any preparation, I doubt what will be result of the meeting,” he said.

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