STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Siliguri, 1 October
Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC) members have sounded skeptical today over whether the tripartite meeting to resolve the statehood crisis of the Darjeeling Hills as slated for 23 October as per the Centre&’s communication would be held at all.
The GJMM general secretary, Mr Roshan Giri, yesterday claimed that an official from the Union home ministry had called them up to inform them of the tripartite meeting on 23 October. Two senior members of GJAC, Mr R B Rai of CPRM and Mr Enos Das Pradhan of Bharitiya Gorkha Parisang said that they are still in the dark about the official communication and the agenda of the proposed meeting.
Mr Rai, who is also GJAC secretary, said: “I do not know anything about the official information regarding the meeting. However, I feel only a free-wheeling meeting with the demand for Gorkhaland serving as the principal agenda can thaw the ice of hostility. In case the meeting is aborted, things would be on the boil again. Mr Bimal Gurung has already hinted at a bloody phase of the movement to step up pressure.”
Stating that the agenda would be a bone of contention, he further said that the Union home minister, Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde had assured them that the dialogue would revolve around the issue of Gorkhaland. “He unequivocally said that the GTA would not figure in the dialogue when we met him in New Delhi early last month,” he said. “But as things stand, the meeting if it is held at all, would be focused on the implementation of the GTA pact. It would end in smoke if GTA is made the agenda,” Mr Rai said. Mr Das Pradhan said the Centre ought to have informed GJAC about the meeting and its agenda. “We, on behalf of the GJAC, had met Mr Shinde demanding separate statehood and a tripartite meeting on the subject. If the Centre decides to convene a tripartite meeting the GJAC should have been brought on the board first,” he said, hinting that he is annoyed with the GJMM, a mere member of the conglomerate, having been informed by the Centre, ignoring them altogether.