GJM seeks political dialogue on Gorkhaland issue

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Darjeeling, Dec 22 (ANI): Union Home Secretary G K Pillai has said the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has asked for a political-level discussion at the next round of talks.

Talking to reporters after holding tripartite talks with representatives of the GJM and the State government here on Monday, Pillai said: "We had detailed discussions with the state government and the GJM on various aspects of the formation of the state of Gorkhaland, the issues involved and the political consensus that needed to be created which is not there at the moment."

"We looked at the various Constitutional provisions as well as the manner in which new states are created...giving the present circumstances, the GJM indicated that they would like the next round of talks to be held at the political level. They suggested that these talks be held at the political-level within 45 days," he added.

The state government and the Centre will give their views and we will come before them (GJM) within that period," Pillai said.

Asked if the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), set up in 1988, would continue to function, Pillai said: "It will do so if it is not repealed. In the last tripartite meeting in Delhi on August 11, it was agreed to abolish DGHC and work for an alternative framework in Darjeeling."

However, representatives of the GJM said the only solution was to create a separate state.

"They said that they would be getting back to the Home Minister. They will be talking with them...our only demand is Gorkhaland, we didn't budge an inch from the demand of Gorkhaland. We have made it very clear that nothing sort of Gorkhaland is created the problem can't be solved," said Roshan Giri, general secretary of GJM.

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. (ANI)

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