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Left Front, Trinamool unite against demand for Gorkhaland

December 11, 2009 22:00 IST

The ruling Left Front and the opposition Trinamool Congress and the Congress on Friday united against the demand by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha for a separate Gorkhaland on the lines of Telangana.

"We don't want division of Bengal," Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said in Delhi. Congress Legislative Party leader in West Bengal Manas Bhunia told PTI that the state Congress wanted the Darjeeling problem resolved under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

This was decided at the recent West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee 'Chintan Shibir' in Krishnagar presided over by WBPCC chief Pranab Mukherjee, he said.

Monoj Bhattacherjee, a central committee member of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, a Left Front constituent, said, "My party is against the formation of smaller states on the basis of regional considerations."

The creation of states like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, he said, had not helped in improving the status of the poor.

Secretary of Communist Party of India -- Marxist's Darjeeling District Committee Jibesh Sarkar said, "We cannot allow a division of Bengal. There is a vast difference between Telangana and Gorkhaland. More importantly, Gorkhaland does not meet the basic requirements necessary to form a state."

Meanwhile, activists of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today launched a fast-unto death in the Darjeeling hills as a precursor to a three shutdown from December 14, demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland.

A batch of 21 GJM members began the fast at 10 am before the district magistrate's office in Darjeeling as also in Kurseong, Kalimpong and Kalchini, GJM press and publicity secretary Benoy Tamang said.

At least 150 members of Nari Mukti Morcha, the women's wing of GJM, will begin an indefinite hunger strike in New Delhi on December 13, on the eve of the three-day shutdown in the hills, he said.

The GJM wanted a bill be moved in Parliament immediately to set up Gorkhaland, he said.

In Kolkata, West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said the situation was peaceful. "But if violence erupts, the government will rethink its participation in the tripartite talks with the Centre on December 21," he said.

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