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May 31, 2011

Chief Minister breaks ice in Hill impasse, meets Bimal Gurung

Chief Minister breaks ice in Hill impasse, meets Bimal Gurung

Kolkata, May 31: In her first meeting as Chief Minister with Bimal Gurung, Ms. Mamata Banerjee persuaded the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president to sit with officials on June 6 to discuss the pressing problems of the Hills. The thorny political issues were deferred to a tripartite meeting at a later date.

"We all love Darjeeling. It is very much a part of West Bengal and will continue to remain so," Mamata announced after an hour-long meeting with Gurung. The GJM President said, "We did not insist on anything. We are impressed with all the plans the Chief Minister has for the Hills."

The Chief Minister accepted an invitation from the GJM to visit Darjeeling.


Ms. Banerjee said the Chief Secretary would hold the official-level meeting on June 6. After that he would speak to the Centre for a tripartite talk on contentious issues. "We want a solution as soon as possible. If there is a political vision, things work out according to plan. We want good things to happen to Darjeeling and the state," the Chief Minister said.

The confidence that Ms. Banerjee managed to generate in the minds of GJM leaders was not a sudden development. The groundwork was laid last year when she visited Darjeeling. Even on Monday, She made it a point to personally approach the four GJM MLAs in the floor of the Assembly and greet them. The GJM legislators were made to sit on the treasury benches along with the Trinamool MLAs.