Calcutta, March 11: Days before a bill to pave the way for the appointment of a caretaker to the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council is tabled, a GNLF legislator said she felt assured by the chief minister's initiative to end the impasse.
Shanta Chhetri, the leader of the GNLF legislature party, who spit fire on Thursday, saying the 'hills would be in flames if the bill was tabled', today said her party was very happy with Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's assurance that its demands would be considered.
The Darjeeling Gorkha Autonomous Hill Council (Amendment) Bill, 2005, will be placed in the House on Monday.
After a meeting with Bhattacharjee in his Assembly chamber, the Gorkha leader signalled a possible rapprochement with the government. 'I had a positive discussion with the chief minister. On behalf of the people of the hills, I informed him that we would like to see none else but Subash Ghisingh as the caretaker of the hill council and Bhattacharjee assured me of a sympathetic consideration,' she said in the Assembly lobby.
The chief minister sought help from the Trinamul Congress and the Congress at an all-party meeting in his Assembly chamber. He is learnt to have told the MLAs: 'Keeping in mind the situation in Nepal, we want to handle the delicate hill council issue without hurting any one. We also don't want any turmoil in the hills that may spread to the plains. I seek your cooperation so that the bill is passed smoothly.'
The GNLF, which runs the DGHC, has threatened to paralyse the hills if Ghisingh, the GNLF chief, is not made the council caretaker after its term ends on March 26. Asked if his government has succumbed to pressure, Bhattacharjee later said: 'We are considering the ground reality while trying to solve the problems.'
He held a separate meeting with Left Front legislators.
The Assembly's business advisory committee today decided the bill would be tabled on Monday. Apart from creating the caretaker post, the bill would propose the dropping of the word 'autonomous' and setting a new rule regarding hill council appointments.