Gorkhaland is not a solution for Darjeeling: G K Pillai

Report by: 
Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay
Kolkata
19 Jun 2017

As the clamour for a separate of Gorkhaland at Darjeeling grew louder chief minister Mamata Banerjee today got some relief as former Union home secretary G. K. Pillai who handled the situation along with the then state government deftly during his tenure between 2009 and 2011, today said that a Gorkhaland state could never be a solution to the problems of the hills and that everybody who has a stake there should sit across the table and sort out a solution.

Pillai, an illustrious bureaucrat,  who presided over the fourth tripartite meeting among the union government, the state government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, held on December 21, 2009 at Darjeeling that ultimately led to the foundation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) said only a regional council that would cater to the needs of the local people could be a solution to the problem. ``The series of events that are taking place in Darjeeling is quite unfortunate, But a separate state is not a problem and I do not support the demand. It is not feasible there. There has to be a regional council in the model of the Bodo council which will have powers to make laws for the local area. And another thing that has to be ensured is that money meant for the people of the area should go to the beneficiaries and nobody else,'' Pillai told Echo of India over phone.

Former West Bengal chief secretary Ardhendu Sen, who along with then state chief secretary Ashok Mohan Chakrabarty represented the state in the tripartite talks, also urged for talks among the three sides to find out a solution. ``What is happening in Darjeeling is very unfortunate.  I believe the chief minister was a bit too aggressive. She should have shown some restraint. However all stakeholders should sit across the table and look for a solution brfore it goes out of control,'' Sen told Echo of India over phone.