Siliguri, Oct. 20: North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb today welcomed the initiative taken by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to start talks with the government and said the state was always ready to sort out any issue through dialogues.
“The good sense of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders has prevailed and they are now ready to meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee and start a dialogue as they have changed with the times,” Deb told journalists at the PWD inspection bungalow here today.
He, however, did not say if the Morcha leaders had sought an appointment with the chief minister or when the meeting was likely to be held.
Deb’s reaction came a day after H.B. Chhetri, Rohit Sharma and Trilok Dewan, the MLAs from Kurseong, Kalimpong and Darjeeling respectively, held a meeting with Trinamul leader Mukul Roy in Calcutta.
“We have never said that we are not going to talk with the Morcha leaders as the state government, instead of getting involved in any sort of confrontation, is always ready to expedite development work with everybody’s involvement,” he said today.
“After the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, the chief minister’s relentless efforts for developing the hills through various programmes and her frequent visits to the area in the past two-and-half-years, we got huge support from the residents of the hills. The Morcha leaders have perhaps realised that they should also get involved in developing the region through the GTA and they have expressed their willingness to go with the government,” he added.
The minister was tight-lipped about the MLAs meeting the chief minister.
“I cannot comment on the meeting or when they will get an appointment to meet the chief minister. I am busy with the preparation for the first public meeting of our party in Darjeeling,” Deb, also the president of Trinamul’s Darjeeling district committee, said.
Trinamul’s meeting would be held at Chowrastha in Darjeeling on October 24.
Today, Deb met representatives of different tribal communities in the hills including the Bhutia, Tamang, Gurung and Dukpa.
Trinamul sources said the representatives had sought an appointment with the chief minister and Deb told them that an appointment could be fixed only after CM’s administrative meeting that was supposed to be held at the NBU on October 22 evening.