Kolkata: Official-level talks on
Gorkhaland have failed to make headway owing to Gorkha
Janmukti Morcha`s insistence on discussing the territorial
jurisdiction of the proposed interim authority.
"The talks (in Delhi) did not progress yesterday. GJM
representatives wanted to discuss the territory by including
the Dooars. We did not want to discuss territory. The agenda
of discussion was the formation and functioning of the
proposed interim authority," West Bengal Home Secretary Samar
Ghosh told newsmen Wednesday.
GJM chief Bimal Gurung, who had been demanding a
separate Gorkhaland state since inception of the party in
2007, has floated the proposal for an interim set-up in the
hills till December 31.
According to Ghosh, who represented the state
government along with other officials at the meeting, the
state government wanted the interim authority to be set up
first before determining its territorial jurisdiction.
Another round of tripartite political-level talk would
be held later and its date and venue would be decided by the
Centre, he said.
Earlier, state Urban Development Minister and Siliguri
MLA Asok Bhattacharya said while the state government was
against any further division of West Bengal, it had no
difference of opinion with the Centre over development of
Darjeeling hills and making the hill council more powerful.
In Delhi, official sources said it is yet to be
confirmed whether the political-level talks with be held as
per the schedule.
They said during the meeting, both the Centre and
the state government were for limiting the proposed Darjeeling
Regional Authority -- to just the hill sub-divisions of
Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong.
However, GJM wanted inclusion of the Gorkha-dominated
parts of the Terai, Dooars and Siliguri, something which was
did not find favour with both Centre and state government due
to various reasons including security.
The meeting was held to prepare groundwork for the
political level talks.