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Tripartite talks on Gorkhaland priority: Binay Tamang

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Kolkata: Claiming that the West Bengal government has already started working on a number of demands they had put forth, expelled GJM leader and Darjeeling’s Board of Administrators Chairman Binay Tamang said tripartite talks on the Gorkhaland issue are on top of their agenda for Monday’s all-party meeting.

“Out of the 17 point demands raised by us in the previous meetings in Uttar Kanya (the secretariat in north Bengal), the government has started working on seven issues.

“Among the nine points of demands that still need to be addressed, the tripartite talks on Gorkahland issue would be our top most agenda,” Tamang said here before attending the state government sponsored all-party meeting at the state secretariat Nabanna.

He said the demand on bonus for the government employees in the hills has also been cleared.

“We are here to discuss the remaining nine points of demand. Apart from these, some issues on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration would also be discussed in today’s meeting,” he said.

The three MLAs of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong are also scheduled to attend the meeting along with Tamang.

Referring to his “increasing support base” in the Darjeeling hills after his differences with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung over the withdrawal of shutdown came out into the open, Tamang said people are supporting his democratic movement as they have realised that violent agitation would not fetch any solution.

“During the initial stages, everyone felt Binay Tamang and (fellow expelled GJM leader) Anit Thapa’s stand on the hills issue is not correct. But now everyone in the Darjeeling hills is supporting us because everyone is looking for a democratic solution to the crisis,” he claimed.

“The demand of Gorkhaland cannot be achieved through violent agitation and unlawful activities. The Gandhian philosophy needs to be followed. That’s why the public have started supporting our democratic movement,” Tamang added.

Apart from the GJM, other hill parties like GNLF, Akhil Bharaity Gorkha League are attending the meeting while Jana Andolan Party chief Harka Bahadur Chettri said his party would stay away.

IANS

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