All party meet: 'Awaiting official invites'
Darjeeling: Following Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's announcement of a meeting with the Hill parties at Nabanna on August 29 at 4 pm, political outfits are awaiting official invites.
Incidentally, Banerjee, while talking to media persons on Tuesday, stated that in response to the GNLF's letter seeking the CM's intervention to resolve the ongoing crisis, the state government has decided to hold talks with the Hill parties on August 29.
The Hills have been agitating for Gorkhaland which includes an indefinite bandh in the Hills since June 15.
"We have not received any official communication yet. We will not attend talks alone. The state has to invite all the Hill parties," stated Niraj Zimba, spokesperson, GNLF.
Clarifying GNLF's stand regarding the letter to the CM, Zimba stated: "It is clear that Delhi will not entertain talks on Gorkhaland unless we sit in talks with the state government. Relation between the GJM and the state government are at an all-time low. Hence the GNLF has taken the initiative to open up dialogue for the benefit of the masses and to end the embroglio," claimed Neeraj Zimba, GNLF spokesperson.
The letter to the Chief Minister by Mann Ghising, president, GNLF, states: "The said indefinite shutdown has reached 66 days, which has totally paralyzed the normal life of the people of the Hill areas of Darjeeling in all respect and also caused extensive damage and has stalled all development work, therefore, I would like to request you for a high-level intervention with the view to end the present crisis of the Hill areas of Darjeeling."
"We have received no such intimation for talks. Only after we receive the same will we sit in a meeting and decide," stated Binay Tamang, assistant secretary, GJM.
The Jan Andolan Party (JAP) stated that they too have not received any official communication regarding the talks. "We feel that all parties should attend the talks and voice their opinion in front of the CM. A GMCC meeting should be called immediately. The strategy should be chalked out for the meeting with the state government so that there is a unified stand," stated Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri, president, JAP. The Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC- a conglomeration of 14 pro Gorkhaland outfits) has stated that official invitation should be sent either to the GJM or the GMCC.
"The invitation should come to the appropriate forum. Though GNLF is also a constituent party of the GMCC, the GJM is leading the GMCC and spearheading the ongoing movement. If the government is sincere about resolving the ongoing crisis then they should invite the actual stakeholders," stated Kalyan Dewan, Convenor, GMCC.