Kolkata: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has invited Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung for dialogue on Sunday to end the deadlock in Darjeeling which has been witnessing unrest for almost two months now.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is unlikely to attend the meeting as she left the capital on Saturday evening after attending a meeting of opposition parties. It was not immediately clear if any representative from the state government will attend the meeting.
In a press statement, Gurung said, “Today the GJM received an intimation from the Union Home Minister requesting us to join for talks tomorrow at 4.30 pm in New Delhi. Because the movement has today transitioned into a people’s movement — with all the hill political parties as well as non-political bodies together — I have submitted this invitation for their consideration (sic).”
“I am hopeful the Hill parties leading the movement will attend this meeting and help find a possible road map for Gorkhaland statehood. I thank the honorable Home Minister for the kind invite and hope the central government will do justice for the Gorkha’s at the earliest,” he added.
Rajnath’s invite for talks came a day after News18.com reported that the GJM had hinted it was ready for a dialogue, but said it had not received any formal communication from the West Bengal government.
This is for the second time when Union Home Minister appealed for talks in the recent past.
Earlier, on July 18, MHA had issued a statement, saying, “The Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, telephonically apprised of the situation prevailing in Darjeeling to the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh today. Shri Rajnath Singh has appealed to the people living in Darjeeling and nearby areas to remain calm and peaceful.”
In his appeal, Rajnath said that nobody should resort to violence and in a democracy like India resorting to violence would never help in finding a solution.
“Every issue can be resolved through mutual dialogue. I appealed that all concerned parties and stakeholders should resolve their differences and misunderstandings through dialogue in amicable environment,” he had said.