KOLKATA: The state government has decided not to send any representative to attend the meeting convened by the Centre to discuss the issues related to Gorkhaland on October 7 alleging the Modi government’s decision was "arbitrary".
The Centre convened the meeting asking the home secretary, the district magistrate of Darjeeling and Bimal Gurung faction of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), a BJP ally, to be present. This is the first time that the BJP-led Centre will convene an official meeting without ambiguity on Gorkhaland.
"The Centre did not discuss the issue with us before convening the meeting. Besides, a state government bureaucrat cannot be asked to attend a Centre’s meeting without the consent of the state government concerned," said an official of the state government.
Since 2009, when the BJP bagged victory in Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, the party has been cautious with the Gorkhaland issue in its poll manifestos. In 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had said its manifesto that the party will sympathetically examine and appropriately consider the long pending demand of the Gorkhas. In last year’s general election, the saffron camp promised its poll manifesto that the party is committed to finding a permanent political solution to the issues of Darjeeling Hills.
The letter dated on October 3, signed by Renu Sarin, director (Centre-State II), of the Union Home Ministry, has stated that the meeting convened on October 7 at Room No 119 of the North Block is to discuss the issues related to Gorkhaland. The letter was made public in social media by Roshan Giri, general secretary of GJM (Bimal faction).
The GJM is divided between Binay Tamang and Bimal Gurung, who is at large since the murder of a police officer.