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Yechury favours all party talks on Darjeeling issue

By Nairita Das

Darjeeling, Aug 30 (ANI): Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury has said all political parties from the Darjeeling hills should be invited for the next round of talks on the interim set-up for the region.

Talking to reporters here on Sunday, Yechury said: "The issue must be collectively taken forward and we would want all the political parties from the hills to be invited for the September 7 talks."

"We want at this tripartite meeting, government to take the initiative to invite all the political forces that are there in this region, and not only deal with one or two of them. Because our experience of the past has shown that unless first of all there is unity amongst various sections of people in Darjeeling, there cannot be much success," he added.

He further said that he would raise the issue in the parliament if the procedures permit, otherwise if not in the parliament, then separately with the Prime Minister.

"What should have been the priority (finding a permanent solution to the hill problem) has not been taken up by the government," he said

"We want maximum autonomy for the region under the framework of the state legislature. The local people must be given an opportunity to frame their own policies," he added.

Earlier, the 'political-level' talks were held in New Delhi on July 24.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has held several rounds of tripartite talks with representatives of central and state governments over the issue but nothing concrete has emerged.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is around a million out of the state"s 80 million people. (ANI)

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