Darjeeling unrest: Binay Tamang says no differences with GJM chief Bimal Gurung

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee speaks during a meeting with Darjeeling based political parties on Darjeeling issues at the State Secretariat near Kolkata on Tuesday

Mamata, Gorkhaland agitators hold talks

On Tuesday night, GJM supremo Bimal Gurung had said in an audio message that there is no question of withdrawing the shutdown until and unless talks begin on the issue of a separate state. Banerjee had described the August 29 talks, which were held at the state secretariat, as "positive and cordial" and said dialogue process will continue to restore peace and normalcy in the hills. "After that our central government will sit for a meeting and discuss the strike issue", he said.

Kolkata: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Central Committee on Thursday chose to temporarily relax the bandh till September 12 and pave the way for dialogue with West Bengal government to restore peace and normalcy in the hills. He is playing into the hands of state government.

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"We can not ignore that the demand for separate Gorkhaland is a long pending issue". They have democratic rights to demand for a separate state and we will never suppress or bulldoze their voice. "Mamata Banerjee has acknowledged our demand as being constitutional but wanted us to express our demand in a peaceful and non-violent manner", Tamang said. After GJM Central Committee meeting on Thursday in Darjeeling, Assistant General Secretary Binay Tamang told mediapersons, "We are temporarily lifting the indefinite strike for 12 days, taking into confidence all and keeping in mind the seriousness of the issue". I requested them to withdraw it. Later, in a press conference, Binay Tamang announced that the strike will be withdrawn from September 1 to September 12.

In a tit-for-tat move, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri late on Thursday said that the party had ousted Tamang as its chief coordinator and added that he and another leader Anil Thapa are to be expelled.

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"Gorkhaland remains our one-point agenda".

Nearly 11 weeks into the Darjeeling shutdown, three major political parties in the hills held talks with the West Bengal government at the State Secretariat "Nabanna" building here on Tuesday, reviving fresh hopes that the deadlock may be resolved. Food and other supplies are critical even in the Tea gardens now.

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Earlier today, the GJM central committee meeting came at a time when sharp differences has emerged between Tamang and party chief Bimal Gurung.

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