No interim council of nominated members in Darjeeling: WB govt

Kolkata, Jan 24 (PTI) A day before the political-leveltripartite talks on the Darjeeling issue, the West Bengalgovernment today made it clear that it will not accept theGorkha Janmukti Morcha''s demand for an interim council withnominated members.

"An interim council with nominated members is notacceptable. Such a council will not have legislative orfinancial powers," Urban Development and Municipal AffairsMinister Ashok Bhattacharya, who will represent the stategovernment at the meeting, told newsmen.

Bhattacharya, elected to the Assembly from Siliguri inDarjeeling districts, said that while the state government wasagainst formation of a separate Gorkhaland state in the hills,it wanted an autonomous council to involve the people theremore intensely in the decision making process for development.

Towards the end of 2007, the Centre had sought tointroduce two bills seeking to provide Sixth Schedule statusto the Darjeeling hills, but the Parliamentary StandingCommittee on Home Affairs asked the government to take are-look at the Bills.

"Since then, there has not been any progress in thematter," Bhattacharya said.

West Bengal Home Secretary G D Gautama and DGP NMukherjee, would also be present at the meeting along withBhattacharya.

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