With the indefinite fast by activists of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in Darjeeling entering the seventh day on Thursday, the party rejected the West Bengal government’s appeal to withdraw the stir but said it would participate in the tripartite talks on December 21.

GJM president Bimal Gurung announced in Darjeeling that the party would participate in the talks, GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri said from Kurseong.

Asked to comment on West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen’s statement that the fast could mar the tripartite talks, he said “They want to derail the talks.”

“Gorkhaland is the ultimate solution. The interlocutor was appointed by the Centre for Gorkhaland. The agitation is for Gorkhaland and will continue over Gorkhaland.”

He hoped that the talks would be fruitful. “If the talks fail we will broaden our agitation. The hunger-strike will go on.”

Reacting to West Bengal chief secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty’s statement that talks and agitation could not go hand in hand, Giri said “We will participate in talks. Agitation is one thing and talks are another thing.”

The GJM, which is leading an agitation in the Darjeeling hills demanding a separate hill state, has upped the ante since the Centre agreed to the formation of a separate Telengana state.


GJM rejects Chidambaram’s appeal December 19, 2009