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Early date for hill talks

Posted by Ramesh Khati on July 19, 2009

New Delhi/Darjeeling, July 18: The Centre today advanced the talks on the hill impasse to August 11 as a “goodwill gesture” to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

Delhi had convened the meeting on August 24 after the Morcha called an indefinite strike in the hills, but the outfit said it wanted the talks before the budget session of Parliament ended on August 7.

The Morcha withheld its response to the “goodwill gesture”. Chief Bimal Gurung said he would react after getting the details and discussing them within the party.

Besides the change of date, the Morcha had wanted talks at the political level — not with bureaucrats —and on the sole agenda of Gorkhaland.

Sources said the UPA government was still not prepared for a political discussion. If Jaswant Singh, the BJP MP from Darjeeling, insists on attending the meeting, it can become a prickly issue. The home ministry has not spelt out the meeting’s agenda.

Source: The Telegraph


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