West Bengal yet to receive GJM’s letter for talks

June 24th, 2008 - 12:37 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 23 (IANS) The West Bengal government Monday said it was yet to receive any response from the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), agitating for a separate Gorkhaland state, for talks on the developments in the Darjeeling Hills. “Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has sent two letters to the GJM for talks. We are yet to receive any reply from them. He is worried over the situation. There is need for talks,” the state’s Home Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakrabarty told reporters.

Asked whether the state government was now prepared to hold tripartite talks with the GJM also involving the central government, he said: “How can there be tripartite talks unless the GJM and the state government sit for discussions first?”

The home secretary’s comments follow the GJM’s announcement that it would send a two-member team, led by party assistant general secretary Raju Pradhan, to Kolkata Tuesday to hold discussions with Bhattacharjee on the situation in the hills.

The GJM had earlier maintained it would not hold any dialogue with the chief minister in Kolkata and was only prepared for discussions in New Delhi in the presence of the central government’s representatives.

However, Tamang said there was no shift in the GJM’s stand.

The GJM, spearheading the movement for a separate Gorkhaland state in the Darjeeling Hills, last week called an indefinite shutdown that paralysed the hills and virtually cut off Sikkim from the rest of the country.

However, it decided to relax the shutdown by 60 hours from 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Wednesday to enable the hill residents to stock provisions.

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