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GTA chief Gurung refuses to attend Kalimpong bipartite talks with CM

Chief of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), Bimal Gurung
Chief of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), Bimal Gurung, today said he will not be attending the Kalimpong bipartite talks with the state government scheduled for 2 September in Kalimpong. He, however, said the GTA secretary and some other councillors would attend the meeting.
"We have received a letter from the state government on the meeting. However, come to think of it, the previous five bipartite meetings yielded no results. I will not be able to attend the talks because I will be in Delhi that time. The GTA secretary and sabhasads would attend the meeting though," Mr Gurung said at Bagdogra Airport before leaving for Delhi on an ‘official visit’ today.
Asked whether the state government was not cooperating with them, Mr Gurung said the government should cooperate and that he has already placed his demand for tribal status for the 11 Hill communities.
"There will be a foundation stone laying programme for the Gorkha Bhavan in Delhi on 29 August. I will also meet Yoga Guru Ramdev," he said.GJMM general secretary Roshan Giri, and GJMM leaders Anit Thapa, Arun Sinji and Dawa Lepcha are accompanying Mr Gurung to Delhi.
Meanwhile, Darjeeling BJP MP, SS Ahluwalia, who arrived here to launch a programme of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna in Siliguri tomorrow, said the meeting should have been a tripartite one.
"Since the GTA agreement was signed among the three parties--GJMM, state government and the Centre--there should have been a tripartite meeting. If the meeting holds talks about development, then it is ok, but if it fails to do so then the Centre will call a tripartite meeting," Mr Ahluwalia said at the airport.
Asked about Mr Gurung's reaction on the five bipartite meetings in the past, he said, "If they feel that the previous five meetings did not do any justice to them then they can very well say this."
Mr Ahluwalia also slammed the state government for 'not fulfilling the promises' made in the GTA accord.
"The state government has not implemented many things in the agreement. There are issues like non-transfer of some departments to the GTA, the central university for the Hills, medical college, multi specialty hospital, sainik school recruitment centre for the military. The condition of NH 55 and NH 31 is deplorable. The  PWD, which maintains the roads, has been working at a snail’s pace," he said.
The MP said the state  was not working properly for the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) too. "I spoke to railways minister Sadanand Gauda, he wrote letters to the state government, Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari. Mr Gauda has asked the state to maintain the UNESCO world heritage status of the DHR," he said.(sns)

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