By SUNIL Sonkar
Kolkata, Feb. 12 — West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee rejected the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s demand for a Gorkhaland State on Friday. CM said State government would consider in the region more funds and greater autonomy if the agitators agree to talk and gave up violence.
Bhattacharjee was addressing a Left Front rally on Friday at Siliguri and said, “We have repeatedly asked the agitators to sit for discussions on anything but separate statehood. Even during the tripartite meeting among the Centre, State and the agitators, emphasis was laid on that. We have no problem granting them greater autonomy and sanctioning additional funds.”
Bhattacharjee, however, mentioned in his address that the pre-condition of peace maintaining in the hills and also in the plains prior to discussions would have to be honoured.
CM also pointed out that the agitators are on the way of seeking halfway solution after they have realised their prolonged agitation would not achieve anything substantial. He even cautioned the leaders of pro-Gorkhaland against seeking inclusion of Siliguri town, the Terai regions and the Dooars to Gorkhaland.
He said, “Do not even mention the name of Siliguri or Dooars and Terai regions as the people there do not want to be a part of Gorkhaland. If you want an interim arrangement, it will be done with the Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong sub-divisions only – do not over-step even an inch.”