Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today rejected the Gorkha Janmukti
Morcha`s demand for an interim council in Darjeeling, saying
the party would have to participate in municipal and panchayat
elections in the hills first to test public support.
"Bimal Gurung`s party wants an interim council to be set
up without elections. That will never happen. We have told
them to face the municipal and panchayat elections to
ascertain public support. We will not allow anyone to come to
power without facing elections. We want to listen to all
parties," he said at a Left Front rally.
The chief minister said he had conveyed to the Centre
his government`s opposition to an interim council in
Darjeeling without holding panchayat and municipal elections
On Sunday, Gurung had said the GJM would call a 48-hour
bandh in Darjeeling if the interim council, replacing the
Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, was not set up by December 20.
Stating that Gurung had also warned of blockading
government offices in Darjeeling from December 6,
Bhattacharjee wondered, "Who benefits from such actions? If
tourists keep away from Darjeeling, the hills will suffer. So
we tell them, do not take that line. You will suffer."