WB govt not averse to tripartite talks, says CM

http://www.expressindia.com

Kolkata, June 27: The West Bengal government on Friday said it was not averse to a tripartite meeting and there was no need for creation of a separate state, as the GJM rejected the offer of more powers for the hill council and stuck to its demand for Gorkhaland.

“I have no objection to a tripartite meeting, but it will be more meaningful if we ourselves discuss and reach an agreement. Before that it will be premature,” Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told reporters after a meeting with a 4-member GJM delegation.

The chief minister said that the delegation had told him that they were asked by the Centre to approach the state government “…. but I asked them on what basis will we go to attend a tripartite meeting in Delhi.

“If we find out a path for a political solution through a mechanism of more rounds of bilateral discussions and then go to Delhi for the tripartite meeting, it will be meaningful,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that he had asked the GJM delegation to return and discuss that the state government wanted to give more power to the hill council.

“I doubt if a tripartite meeting will achieve any result without any basis for it. We should reach a consensus to find a way out,” he said.

“The people of the hills and plains can stay together.

There is no need for creation of a separate state. There are socio-economic problems in the hills which can be tackled with grant of more administrative and financial powers to the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council,” the Chief Minister said.

GJM Central Committee member Amar Lama, on the other hand, said the delegation rejected the Chief Minister’s offer of more administrative and financial powers to the DGHC “as we are only for creation of Gorkhaland.

“The state government is ready to give more administrative and economic powers to DGHC. We rejected the Chief Minister’s suggestion,” he said.

Union Home minister Shivraj Patil had told them that the state government should be approached by the GJM for a tripartite meeting, Lama said. “We appealed to the chief minister to work for a tripartite meeting and he has agreed to it.” He said when the GJM had been invited for talks on June 18 by Bhattacharjee, it had not responded as there were preconditions.

“This time there was no precondition and the chief minister told us at the start of the meeting that he was for free and frank discussions,” he said.

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