Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday called political parties in the Darjeeling hills for talks to restore normality.
Ms. Banerjee told journalists that she received a letter from the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), urging her to hold talks on the ongoing stalemate in the hills. Describing the letter “a constructive step,” she said that a meeting would be held on August 29 at the State Secretariat, Nabanna.
While Ms. Banerjee avoided any direct mention of the GorkhaJanmuktiMorcha (GJM) — the outfit that is spearheading the Gorkhaland agitation — she said all major political parties in the hills are welcome to participate in the meeting.
The development comes a day after the GJM made a request to the Central and State governments “to initiate talks at the earliest so that peace and normality can be restored in our region at the earliest.”
The hills have been facing a shutdown since June 15, which has severely affected the economy of the region and life has come to a halt. Attempts by the State government for holding talks to end the imbroglio failed, but the situation this time is different as many political parties in the hills are keen on talks.
GJM leader SwarajThapa said the party will hold discussions on the issue before announcing their stand.