Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday claimed that the Darjeeling dispute has been resolved and a formal agreement with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has also been signed. Mamata said that she has informed the Union Home Ministry about the agreement.
Mamata said that the West Bengal Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh would talk to the Center and hold a formal tripartite meeting in Darjeeling and formalise the agreement.
However, the agreement does not talk about the separate state of Gorkhakland.
According to the agreement between the state government and the GJM an autonomous body with financial, executive and administrative powers will be formed. The bill regarding the setting up of the autonomous body will be passed in the next West Bengal Assembly session.
The body will have more powers than the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.
A committee will also be formed to find if the new body should have jurisdiction over the Dooars, Siliguri and Terai along with the Darjeeling hills where the Gorkhas are in a majority.
The committee will be set up in the next two days and will submit its report in six months. After the report is submitted a tripartite meeting with the Centre and the entire agreement would be finalised.
Gorkha Janamukti Morcha General Secretary Roshan Giri welcomed the agreement and said they have not diluted their demand for Gorkhaland.
"We have not compromise with the demand of Gorkhaland. The committee has been formed, which will give its report. The agreement is yet to be reached which will be done in time. The Chief Minister understood the problem. It's not a final agreement. We will rectified it later and the agreement will be signed later. On the issue of land management of tea garden, a committee has been formed which will give report," said Giri.
The GJM sees the agreement as a step towards the formation of Gorkhaland. Mamata had promised to settle the dispute within two months if she won the Assembly elections and now she can claim to have fulfilled her promise in 18 days.