Kolkata: With the Centre keen on an interim
arrangement to replace the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council
which runs the administration in the district, non-GJM Hills
parties today held parleys with the West Bengal government on
the tripartite talks.
The talks with political parties from Darjeeling were
held here prior to the political-level tripartite talks among
the Centre, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), and West Bengal
government on August 17.
Health Minister Surjya Kanta Mishra and Municipal Affairs
Minister Asok Bhattacharya, who convened the meeting, told
reporters that the opinion of non-GJM Hills parties was
essential before the next round of talks, since the Centre has
so far been talking only to the GJM.
Mishra said that the parties were told to submit their
views in writing before August 6, which would be communicated
to the Centre by August 9.
All India Gorkha League leader Dawa Sherpa, however,
ruled out an "interim arrangement" until law and order and
governance was restored in the Darjeeling hills.
"Interim arrangement or any temporary measure is no
solution. The Darjeeling issue needs a permanent solution. We
don`t need a pain killer for this major issue, because such a
measure is neither feasible nor acceptable," Sherpa said.
The GJM has now settled for an interim council which,
the party demanded, should also include the Dooars and the
Terai in neighbouring Jalpaiguri district.
The meeting was also attended by state Home Secretary
Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) chairman
Subhas Ghising, who recently recently met Union Home Secretary
G K Pillai in Delhi, did not attend the meeting.
The meeting was attended by eight representatives of
four political parties in the hills -- All India Gorkha League
(AIGL), Darjeeling-Sikkim Ekikaran Mancha, GNLF(C) and Gorkha
Shankar Hang Subba and P D Lepcha of Darjeeling-Sikkim
Ekikaran Mancha, Vishnu Pradhan and Col D K Pradhan of GNLF(C)
and D K Bomjan of Gorkha Rashtriya Congress also echoed