The West Bengal Government has said it would not respond to any proposal put forward by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) through the media or at meetings, asking it instead to put proposals, if any, on the table.
State Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told journalists at the Secretariat: “The Government will not react to any proposal put forward by the GJM through the media or through public meetings. We can respond only if such proposal is put on the table.”
Mr. Sen was replying to queries about reports that the GJM has put forward a proposal for an interim set-up — which virtually seeks to carve out a State within a State — by refraining from using the word ‘Statehood' but seeking sweeping powers for running a regional authority.
Mr. Sen said four tripartite meetings had already been held between the Centre, State government and the GJM leadership, and that the Centre had put forward a proposal.
“But we are not agreeable to all the points in that proposal,” he said, declining to elaborate on what the points were.
Mr. Sen said that a fifth round of talks were slated to be held on March 18, and that State Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharjee — who is also in charge of North Bengal affairs — and Health Minister Suryakanta Mishra would represent the government, besides either Mr. Sen or Chief Secretary A.M. Chakraborti.
Mr. Bhattacharjee ruled out any possibility of the West Bengal Government allowing any division of the State, but said that talks could always be held to strengthen the autonomous structure that the hills region now had.