New Delhi/Kolkata, Sep 8: A eight-member delegation of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and other hill parties on Friday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and pressed for "tripartite talks" on the Gorkhaland issue. "Raising the one point agenda of Gorkhaland, the delegation members requested the Union Home Minister to initiate the process of tripartite talks on statehood issue," the GJM said in a statement after the meeting. The GJM members pointed out that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already said in a press conference on August 29 that the Gorkhaland statehood issue was beyond the purview of the state government.
"Since the Chief Minister has already said so, the GJM members urged the Union Home Minister to initiate the process of tripartite talks," it said. The GJM members also requested the Home Minister to speak with Banerjee and "bring to a stop the continuous raids on GJM leaders and workers". Referring to Friday's clash between the police and GJM activists in Darjeeling's Chawkbazar, the GJM leaders present in the delegation accused the state police of "high-handedness" and claimed that its attitude is worsening the atmosphere in the hills. The GJM also informed Rajnath Singh that it would attend the bipartite meeting called by Banerjee on September 12. The delegation consisted of GJM MLAs Rohit Sharma and Sarita Rai, party's central committee members Swaraj Thapa and Ashok Lama, General Secretary Roshna Giri, Communist Party Revolutionary Marxist's Arun Ghatani, Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League's Biplov Rai and Gorkhaland Rajya Nirman Morcha's Dawa Pakhrin. IANS