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Bengal's Gurung 'hurdle' hits talks

Gorkhaland West Bengal
New Delhi: The Centre's proposal for tripartite talks on Darjeeling has stalled because of the Bengal government's opposition to the participation of the Bimal Gurung lobby of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the meeting, sources said on Friday.
"The Centre is now playing a wait-and-watch game as inviting other stakeholders for talks without getting a go-ahead from the state government will lead to a controversy and allegations that the Centre is intervening in the state's affairs," said a senior home ministry official.
"We have sent reminders to the Bengal government but are yet to get any reply. We cannot invite other stakeholders to the talks without the consent of the state. The delay has stalled the proposed composite dialogue process that was to be initiated at the earliest," the ministry official said.
Sources said Union home minister Rajnath Singh wanted to speak to Mamata personally to convince her to let Gurung participate in the talks. But the Union home minister apparently changed his mind following the war of words between the state and central governments over the withdrawal of forces from the hills.

"The Centre is treading cautiously. It is left with no option but to take the Bengal government on board."

The Telegraph

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