In a bid to find a solution to the Gorkhaland issue,the Centre has decided to appoint an official interlocutor to hold talks with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and other groups that have been spearheading a movement for a separate state comprising areas of Darjeeling Hills. The West Bengal Government would also be part of the talks.
According to sources in the Union Home Ministry,the decision to appoint an interlocutor was taken at a recent high-level meeting chaired by Home Minister P Chidambaram.
While the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is keen on finalising the name of the interlocutor at the earliest,the next round of talks would be held only after the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections,sources said. The last round of tripartite talks between the Centre,West Bengal and Gorkha leaders held on December 29 last year had ended in a stalemate.
The Home Minister is very keen that there should be some forward movement on talks. But,while it has been decided to finalise an interlocutor,the next round of talks would be held only after the new government is sworn in, said a senior MHA officer. The officer also said the Centre is keen to draw the GJM and the other parties to the negotiation table to end the continuing stalemate,which has eroded the Governments authority in the area and has also brought life to a complete standstill on many occasions.