August 31, 2010

Include all Darjeeling parties in talks: Yechury

By Agencies, 30/08/2010

All political parties from the hills should be invited to the next round of tripartite talks on an interim council proposed to be set up in Darjeeling, CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury has said.

"So far, the Centre has invited only one party. Other parties too have a say in hill affairs," he said, in a reference to talks between the Centre and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which has put its demand for Gorkhaland on the backburner and settled for the interim hill council to replace the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.

All political parties in Darjeeling should be invited to the seventh round of talks on September 7, he said while delivering the Ratanlal Brahmin Memorial Lecture at Darjeeling Gymkhana Club last evening.

The CPI(M) leader also said he would raise this demand in Parliament and take up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Earlier in the month, the West Bengal government had broadly agreed on the Centre's draft proposal to set up an interim council in Darjeeling.

But all political outfits that came to participate in the subsequent talks convened by the state government to find a solution to the Darjeeling problem rejected the Central government's proposal on the contours of the Gorkhaland Autonomous Authority that is supposed to replace the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).

Representatives of the Trinamool Congress and BJP who came to attend the meeting as part of the Democratic Front, however, did not join it after receiving instructions from their leadership. The outfits that did not attend the meeting included the GNLF and CPRM.

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