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Centre plan to invite Bimal Gurung - Binay Tamang factions on tripartite talks in Delhi soon

Home Minister Rajnath Singh
Darjeeling: The Centre is laying the groundwork to invite both the Bimal Gurung and Binay Tamang factions of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to the proposed tripartite talks in Delhi soon to discuss the Darjeeling crisis, sources said.

"We were informed by the highest levels of the Union home ministry that a tripartite meeting would soon be conveyed by the Centre and the plan was to invite both the factions of the Morcha," an apolitical source who is in touch with the power corridors in Delhi told The Telegraph.

However, sources in the Union home ministry said the tripartite meeting was being delayed as the Bengal government didn't want the Gurung lobby to be invited.

"Following (Union home minister) Rajnath Singh's intervention, a negotiation committee was formed early this month to initiate a composite dialogue with the Bengal government and representatives of the Morcha to find a permanent solution. The Centre also wants to take on board the Gurung faction also, but the Bengal government is against the move. It has led to a stand-off and that's why the meeting has not been convened. The government is trying to convince the state government," said a ministry official.

"The Bengal government's objection to the inclusion of the Gurung faction in the talks has led to the delay in preparing formalities and modalities before initiating the dialogue," he added.
The Centre has taken measured steps on the Gorkhaland agitation till now and is treading cautiously with regard to the tripartite talks also. "Apart from appealing for the withdrawal of a hunger strike and the indefinite strike, the Centre was mum throughout the 104 days of the shutdown," said an observer.
However, at the moment, if both the factions of the Morcha are invited to the tripartite meeting, it would be a win-win situation for the two lobbies. "Talks with just one faction would have a negative impact on the other," said an observer.
Meanwhile, members of the National Gorkhaland Committee (NGC) met Rajnath Singh at his residence in Delhi on Thursday and raised the statehood issue.
Munish Tamang, the convener of the NGC, said: "We have said the statehood issue is a quest for identity of all Indian Gorkhas and needs to be territorialised. We have sought the inclusion of all stakeholders in the talks with the Centre."
The committee also raised the issue of "human rights violation" in the hills, said Tamang.

Source: The Telegraph

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