Mamata starts North Bengal trip, main focus on Sept 12 meet
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will leave for North Bengal on Monday to hold meeting with representatives of all political parties from the Hills in Uttar Kanya on Tuesday.
The Chief Minister had said that she will be holding a second round of meetings at Uttar Kanya — the administrative headquarters of North Bengal — in Siliguri to ensure restoration of peace in the Hills where the indefinite bandh has been continuing for nearly three months now leading to unprecedented harassment of commoners.
It was on August 29 after the all-party meeting at Nabanna (state Secretariat) that Banerjee had announced the date for the second round of talks with representatives of all political parties from the Hills in Uttar Kanya. Sources said that representatives, who were present in the meeting that was held at Nabanna, will be present in the meeting that is going to be held in North Bengal on Tuesday.
It may be mentioned that leaders of major political parties including Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and Jana Andolan Party (JAP) had attended the meeting at Nabanna on August 29. Binay Tamang had led the delegation of the GJM. Soon after the meeting, the divide between him and GJM chief Bimal Gurung widened. It is learnt that Tamang will also be present in the meeting that will be held on Tuesday in Uttar Kanya.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that two GJM MLAs — Rohit Sharma and Amar Rai — approached the state government to be present at the meeting on Tuesday.
It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had said after the meeting at Nabanna: "The door for dialogue has opened after 78 days of bandh in the Hills… We want to restore normalcy for which the process has started with today's interaction. The dialogue and regular interaction will continue." Banerjee had also requested them to withdraw the bandh.
All the political parties had also unanimously agreed to restore peace in the Hills. Tamang, along with his followers, also organised rallies in the Hills to ensure peace.
According to a senior official, the first and foremost objective is to bring back normalcy in the Hills and to give respite to the common people from the ongoing harassment. "So it is expected that the talks will help in getting something constructive at the end of the meeting," he added.