Bimal Gurung blames WB Govt. for spate of shutdowns and strikes

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Darjeeling, Feb 14 (ANI): Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) President Bimal Gurung on Monday blamed the West Bengal Government for the condition of the state, which has been hit by numerous strikes and shutdowns.

The state has witnessed continuous protests, strikes and shutdowns called by the GJM for a separate state, which has hit the local economy severely, and brought life almost to a standstill in the last year.

Gurung said what West Bengal is going through is only because of the state government.

"I have said to the state government, 'come, we will discuss it'. There is no harm in discussing issues. An issue can only be solved if it is brought out and discussed, and not by using guns. They should come and discuss things with us. Whatever they want to talk to us they should bring it to our knowledge," said Gurung.

"The situation that Bengal is facing right now is not because of us. It is because of the government. These things are said by the Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee that they will welcome us for talks. One day we will walk a step ahead, and then maybe walk back again, because this is how politics is," he added.

The recent killing of GJM supporters had triggered off a protest in West Bengal's Siliguri District.

The enraged GJM activists later called for an indefinite shutdown in the wake of the killings, and held massive protests across the region on Saturday.

The GJM members were killed when the security personnel opened fire to disperse a rally in West Bengal's Doars region on February 8.

A renewed demand for a separate Gorkhaland region, which would include Darjeeling and some contiguous areas of Jalpaiguri District, has created fresh turmoil over the past few months.

The four issues obstructing the interim authority are territorial jurisdiction, its authority to manage the regional tea gardens, the selection of its members and a description of the councils legislative powers.

At the fifth round of tripartite talks in New Delhi, the GJM had agreed to the constitution of an interim council by 2011 prior to the creation of a separate state.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal estimated to be around a million has been demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland. By Tarak Sarkar (ANI)

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