GJM softens stance after S S says no to Gorkhaland demand
By Our Correspondent, 31/08/2017, Agartala

The GJM central committee has decided to put off indefinite strike in Darjeeling hills till next round of talks with West Bengal government. The bandh will be relaxed from 6AM on Friday and normalcy will be maintained for the next 12 days, said Binay Tamang, Joint Secretary of GJM.This is a significant climbdown from GJM, as it came under immense pressure from other hill parties to withdraw strike. On Tuesday, Bimal Gurung had said GJM supremo Bimal Gurung had said in an audio message that there is no question of withdrawing the shutdown until and unless talks begin on the issue of a separate state. "There is no question of calling off the shutdown until and unless the state government begins dialogue on the one point agenda of Gorkhaland. So many people have died.

We have some duties and responsibilities towards the people of Darjeeling," Gurung had said. "If the state did not agree to discuss the issue of Gorkhaland, then the hill parties should have walked out. We will inform about our stand after discussing the matter in our central committee," he had said.The decision was taken in the GJM central committee meeting which met in Darjeeling on Thursday to took stock of the situation. The meeting of the party's central committee comes at a time when sharp differences have emerged between Gorkha Janmukti Morcha convenor Binay Tamang and party chief Bimal Gurung.

Union minister S S Ahluwalia today ruled out the possibility of forming separate state in West Bengal's Darjeeling hills and in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council. "In case of forming a new state by carving out any territory, the respective state would have to send an official proposal and have to furnish logic behind forming new state," he said. Neither West Bengal nor Tripura governments had so far sent any such proposal, he said. "So, the question of forming new states in West Bengal and Tripura does not arise," the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Agriculture told reporters here. Ahluwalia stressed on talks to solve the problems in Darjeeling. "I, as an MP from Darjeeling, would say that all problems could be solved through negotiation. If problems could be solved through bi-partite talks it is good and if that fails, then we have to opt for tri-partite talks," he said.