Union Home Minister Amit Shah. [File Photo/ANI]
Union Home Minister Amit Shah. [File Photo/ANI]

Amit Shah chairs 'tripartite meeting' on 'Gorkha Problems', next round of talks in November

ANI | Updated: Oct 12, 2021 20:22 IST

New Delhi [India], October 12 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday chaired a 'tripartite meeting' to find a "solution to problems related to the Gorkhas", assuring that "the Central government will sincerely try to resolve the issue".
In a more than one-hour-long meeting, the Home Minister also ensured to conduct the second round of talks to discuss other aspects of the issue in November after the Diwali celebrations.
The Home Minister also learnt to have assured to discuss the issue related to grant Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to 11 hill tribe-communities of the Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars region -- a longstanding demand of the indigenous tribal population in the area.
The meeting started here at the North Block office of the Ministry of Home Affairs at 4 pm in the presence of the Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai and Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla.
Certain public representatives and leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including BJP MP Raju Bista, regional alliance partners in the hills in Darjeeling and Kalimpong in northern West Bengal also participated in the meeting. Chief Resident Commissioner from West Bengal side represented the state government as the state Chief Secretary or any senior government representative did not join the meeting showing engagements due to 'Durga Puja' celebrations there.
The meeting is significant as the motive seems to find a Permanent Political Solution (PPS) to the more than 100-year-old demand of a separate state for the Gorkhas within the Indian federal structure.
During the 2019 parliamentary elections, the BJP's 'Sankalp Patra' (election manifesto) had made assurances to resolve the issue.
Despite BJP candidate Raju Bista winning a seat from the Darjeeling constituency, these assurances have not been translated into action on the PPS front.
The BJP has also not divulged what the PPS will be - a separate state, a Union Territory or any other form of administrative arrangement. All this has resulted in a constant build-up of pressure from opposition parties.
In last week, certain public representatives and political leaders received invitations from the centre to hold a meeting in the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the issue.
After the meeting, BJP MP Raju Bista said, "It was a historical day for Indian Gorkhas. It was the first time when there have been over one hour of talk with the Union Home Minister without any protest or 'Bandh'. It was a successful talk. The meeting was better than we expected. We have placed our demands before the Home Minister and he has assured us that the government of India will sincerely try and solve our demands. It was a tripartite talk in which Central government, Gorkha leaders and West Bengal representatives participated."
Bista said that West Bengal Chief Secretary or any senior state representative could not attend the meeting due to 'Durga Puja' engagements but the state government's representative in Delhi, Chief Resident Commissioner, participated in the meeting.
"Home Minister ensured that next talk will be held in November after Diwali celebrations and that the government will take any concrete decision after taking views of West Bengal government representatives," Bista said.
Mentioning that "there is no democracy in Darjeeling", the Indian Constitution does not apply there and no 'Panchayat elections' conducted there since 2001, Bista said such kinds of atrocities have happened with the people of North Bengal and Darjeeling.
"These atrocities happened at the time of CPI-M and it is also continued during the reign of TMC too," stated Bista.
According to Bista, the Home Minister assured in the meeting to do justice with Gorkhas and said that the Central government is with them.
Bista said that the Home Minister has also assured to take a view on the ongoing demand of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to 11 hill tribe-communities of the Darjeeling hills. (ANI)