KOLKATA, 16th OCTOBER, 2017: All the parties from the Hills excluding Jana Andolan Party (JAP) and GJM led by Bimal Gurung took part in the meeting held at Kolkata today with the Chief Minister. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had invited all the parties from the Hills however, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not invited. While Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa, expelled members of GJM took part in the meeting as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of Board of Administrators (BoA) of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), all the three GJM MLAs Amar Rai, Rohit Sharma and Sarita Rai also attended the meeting.
All three GJM MLAs Amar Rai, Rohit Sharma and Sarita Rai attended today’s meeting with Mamata at Nabanna along with Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa. GNLF representatives as well as Bharati Tamang and Laxman Pradhan, both incidentally suspended from the All India Gorkha League (AIGL) for three months participated.
No constructive progress was made in favour of the issue of Gorkhaland or the permanent settlement of the political upheaval in the Darjeeling Hills.
The next bipartite talks between the hill parties and West Bengal government has been slated for 21 November 2017 at Pintail Village, near Siliguri.
Meanwhile Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh not to pull security forces out of the Darjeeling hills and accused the Centre of “conspiring to destabilize” the state.
Banerjee said she had sent letters to Modi and Singh on the withdrawal of the Central forces.
“I have written to the prime minister and the home minister and asked them not to withdraw the forces from the hills,” she told a press conference at the state secretariat here after an all-party meeting on Darjeeling.
Describing the withdrawal decision as unilateral and unfortunate, Banerjee said, “The Central government is being run from the BJP party office. It is really unfortunate that the Central government has taken such a bad decision unilaterally to withdraw forces from the hills”.
She accused the Centre and BJP of hatching a conspiracy.
“They are conspiring to destabilise Bengal so that violence keeps on occurring,” she said.
The Centre has said it will withdraw 10 of the 15 companies in the region, she added.
“Union Home minister Rajnath Singh told me seven companies would be withdrawn. I want to ask why this step- motherly attitude towards Bengal when huge numbers of Central forces are deployed in other states,” she said.
Accusing BJP’s Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia of helping fugitive GJM supremo Bimal Gurung foment trouble in the region, she said the BJP was allowing the hills to “burn for the sake of a seat”.
(with inputs from PTI)
The Himalayan Beacon News Desk comprises of Correspondents, Reporters, Stringers and Cub reporters spread all across the Eastern Himalayan region.