Kolkata, Jun 14 (UNI) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today asserted that there was no question of creating a separate Gorkhaland carving out of West Bengal, but the Centre was ready for talks with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).
''There is no question of creating a separate state of Gorkhaland. We are not in favour of it,'' he told reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural session of the Annual General Meeting of Merchants' Chamber of Commerce.
Mr Mukherjee, who had a closed door meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee during the day, however, said the Centre was willing to talk to GJM chief Bimal Gurung and listen to ''whatever he has to say''.
''But he has to come to the meeting without any pre-condition,'' Mr Mukherjee said.
The Chief Minister, who also rejected the statehood demand, convened an all-party meeting on June 17 to find out a solution to the problem arising out of the unabated agitation in the Darjeeling hills by the GJM.
The GJM had called an indefinite bandh in the hills and in some parts of adjoining Terai and Dooars in the plains and asked all tourists to leave the hills.
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