Darjeeling, April 7: A Gorkha Janmukti Morcha delegation led by Bimal Gurung will meet Union home minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on Friday.
Although the Union home ministry as well as the Morcha has confirmed that the talks will be held on April 9, Bengal home secretary Ardhendu Sen said today he had no idea about Gurungs meeting with Chidambaram.
The first direct talks between the Morcha president and the Union home minister will take place at a time when nobody is willing to concede an inch of the territory that is to come under the interim set-up proposed for the hills.
While the Morcha wants the entire Darjeeling district and parts of the Dooars, the Centre is adamant that the interim arrangement should be confined to the hills.
A Morcha source said apart from the party president, a group of four to five senior leaders would be in the delegation. The meeting is likely to primarily revolve on the territory the Morcha wants to be included in the interim set-up. The Morcha is adamant on the inclusion of all areas, where the Nepali speaking people are in majority in the Dooars, and Siliguri in Darjeeling district.
The party has already made a climbdown and has left out areas where the community is in a minority in the plains in a proposal it had sent in March.
The party will not make any further concession as far as the territory is concerned, said a party leader.
A senior official who is in the know of things told The Telegraph that the central and state governments had no intention of parting with the Dooars and Siliguri. As the elections to the Bengal Assembly are just one year away, both the Centre and the state are in no mood to incorporate the Dooars and Siliguri in the new set-up, added the official.
Given the stand of the governments and the hill party, the issue of territorial jurisdiction may become a stumbling block in coming to a settlement on the new arrangement.
There are compulsions for the governments and the Morcha. None will budge. If one party blinks, the arrangement could see the light of day but this looks unlikely at the moment, said an observer.
Against this backdrop, the meeting between Gurung and Chidambaram has gained much significance. The Morcha chief had skipped all the five tripartite meetings in the past.
The sources said the meeting between the two had been in the pipeline soon after the fifth round of talks on March 18. Everyone is aware that the issue cannot be sorted out without a direct dialogue between the government and Bimal Gurung, said the official.
The interlocutor, Lt Gen. (retd) Vijay Madan, is also likely to visit Calcutta and Darjeeling after the Friday meeting in Delhi.