Discussions can resolve Gorkhaland state issue: Pranab Mukherjee

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Kolkata, Dec 20(ANI): Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said that discussions are the only way to resolve the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland in Darjeeling region of West Bengal.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of a function in Kolkata, Mukherjee observed that the Government was ready for talks, but nobody should impose its solution.

"We (Union Government) are trying to resolve all the problems through discussion and it would be possible when people come to discussion table - exchange of views take place - to find a solution acceptable to both sides. But if somebody wants to impose a solution that becomes difficult," Mukherjee said.

Meanwhile, in response to the Union Government's plea, activists of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), the forum spearheading the demand for Gorkhaland called off their fast-unto-death.

Earlier, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had asked the GJM to end their agitation.

Gorkhas, who are ethnic Nepalese residing in the Darjeeling Hills region, have been demanding a separate state by contending this will protect their distinct culture and heritage.

The demand for Gorkhaland gained momentum after New Delhi earlier this month proposed to carve out a new state of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh.

The GJM, formerly known as Gorkha People's Liberation Front (GPLF), said it would not settle for anything less than a separate province.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is around one million out of over 80 million. (ANI)

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