Tripartite meeting with GJM in Darjeeling today

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Darjeeling, Dec 21 (ANI): The fourth tripartite talks on Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland will be held here today.

Union Home Secretary G K Pillai will lead a five-member Central team while Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty will lead the state government's team.

The talks were preceded by a call for a four-day general strike in the hills from December 17, but it was withdrawn on the first day after the BJP asked it to call it off.

On Sunday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that discussions are the only way to resolve the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

"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.

Gorkhas, who are ethnic Nepalese, have been demanding that a separate state should be carved out of the Darjeeling region, which would help them to protect their culture and heritage.

The demand for Gorkhaland gained momentum after New Delhi announced last week that it would carve out a new state of Telangana out of the present state of Andhra Pradesh in south India.

Activists of GJM earlier said that the government ought to consider their demand and not prompt them to sacrifice their lives.

The GJM, however, said it would not settle for 'anything less than a separate state'. (ANI)

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