Gorkhatimes

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Asok raps Morcha bid to score brownie point

Posted by Ramesh Khati on August 13, 2009

Siliguri, Aug. 12: The Darjeeling district CPM feels that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is misrepresenting facts to project yesterday’s tripartite talks in New Delhi as a step towards the achievement of a separate state.

“The issue of statehood for the Darjeeling hills was not discussed at the meeting,” Asok Bhattacharya, the Bengal urban development minister and a senior CPM leader in the district, told a news conference here this evening.

“The Morcha leaders are saying the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Act will be repealed and a special status under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution will not be conferred on the hills. In fact, these decisions are not new. The state government had agreed to dissolve the DGHC four years ago at a similar tripartite meeting held in the presence of GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh. Later, when Ghisingh was harping on the special status for the hills, the chief minister ruled out such an arrangement,” said Bhattacharya.

He added that the meeting had decided to dissolve the hill council only after an alternative administrative set-up was put in place.

Bhattacharya, however, agreed that the outcome of the meeting was positive. “It seems that the Morcha leaders have finally realised that the formation of a separate state is not feasible and hence, agreed to co-operate with the central and state governments.”

“We have also come to know that the Morcha leaders assured the governments of a peaceful atmosphere in the hills till the next meeting is held on December 21 in Darjeeling. They also promised co-operation with the administration in the implementation of development schemes in the hills,” said Bhattacharya, who is also the Darjeeling district Left Front convener.

The minister also welcomed the Morcha’s statement that the party would consider participating in the civic and panchayat polls.

He, however, noted that more than Rs 200 crore, earmarked for development works in the hills, was lying unutilised.

“We hope that Morcha leaders will not block any state government official going to the hills to implement the schemes and monitor the progress of ongoing projects,” said Bhattacharya.

Source:The Telegraph

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