KOLKATA: Deploring violence in the agitation for a separate state in the Darjeeling Hills, Gorkha leader Binay Tamang today said the people would launch a movement for Gorkhaland in a "democratic manner".
The chairman of the Board of Administrators for Darjeeling Hills was here to attend an all-party meeting convened by the state government today on the current impasse in Darjeeling.
"Gorkhaland cannot be achieved through a violent agitation. We should follow the Gandhian philosophy and launch a movement in a peaceful and democratic manner," Tamang said.
The expelled Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader said the people of the hills believed in democratic movements.
He had earlier announced that there would be no more bandhs for Gorkhaland in the hills.
Darjeeling witnessed a long spell of unrest after the GJM called for an indefinite shutdown to press its demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. The shutdown was called off on September 27 after 104 days, in response to an appeal by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
With GJM chief Bimal Gurung, against whom cases have been registered for alleged involvement in bomb blasts, in hiding, Tamang has emerged as the main leader in the hills. He had represented the party in the previous rounds of the all-party meeting organised by the West Bengal government.
Tamang, who met state Governor K N Tripathi yesterday, requested him to talk to the Centre to initiate tripartite talks to solve the Darjeeling impasse.
"We have told him that we are willing to talk to the Centre on the Darjeeling issue. The Centre must intervene as soon as possible and call us for talks on all pending issues, including Gorkhaland," he had said.
Describing the location of Darjeeling as "strategic" because it shares its borders with Nepal and Bhutan, Tamang said discussions should be held as soon as possible keeping in mind the sensitivity of the place.