People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 23

June 22 , 2008



No Partition Of Bengal

THE crucial all-party meeting convened by Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee resolved against a partition of the state. The meeting also was at one in speaking in favour of further extension of economic and administrative powers of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), something that the CPI(M) has been stressing on for quite a long period now.

Among the political leaders who attended the meeting were P R Dasmunshi, president of the Pradesh Congress, Mridul De, CPI(M) central committee member and Sandopal Lepcha, CPI(M) state committee member. Lepcha also heads the district unit of the Darjeeling CPI(M). All LF constituents were represented by their front-ranking leadership. The Trinamul Congress as threatened by the supremo earlier boycotted the meeting, as did her new-found 'left' ally SUCI.

Buddhadeb later spoke to the media at the Writers' Buildings.  He said that the way to solving the present gridlock in the hill areas would lay through consensual discussions and not via confrontation and conflict and violence.  Mridul De said that the CPI(M) expected the decision to be implemented, and a political resolution of the issue made through the implementation of the motion adopted.  The CPI(M) also looked to all political parties for a wholehearted cooperation in this regard, he said.

The resolution that Buddhadeb raised at the commencement of the all-party assembly stated with no ambiguity that the meeting noted with concern and anxiety the present situation prevailing in Darjeeling, and the recent violence that took place in the district including in the dooars areas.  

The meeting, went on Buddhadeb, would firmly believe that the people and every political party must carry out a united drive to maintain and advance the cause of peace and solidarity in the affected areas.  More initiative must be put in place for further development of the Darjeeling district including the hill areas towards an accelerated and coordinated social and economic development, and towards a perceptive improvement in the lives and livelihoods of the mass of the people there.

What would be considered with the greatest possible amount of concern and compassion would be the further extension of the financial and administrative attributes of the DGHC whilst keeping the present situation and arrangement of Bengal intact.  Everyone concerned, Buddhadeb emphasised in his proposal, must strive, and keep alive a democratic ambience of peace, normalcy, and amity throughout the Darjeeling district.

There was no opposition to the resolution that was a unanimous one. Buddhadeb later said that he would communicate to the union government the resolution of the all-party meeting on Darjeeling. The Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) of Bimal Gurung would be kept abreast of the all-party meeting and the outfit would again be invited for a talk and as usual, without any pre-condition at all.

On the issue of tripartite meeting that the GJMM insists on with participation of the union government's representatives, Buddhadeb clearly noted that such a meeting must first be preceded by an adequate amount of groundwork, and more exchanges of views and opinions were needed.  Thereafter such a tripartite meeting could very well be called.  The Bengal LF government would not hesitate for a moment before joining such a meeting, was the Bengal chief minister's clear assurance.

Elsewhere, the Trinamuli leader while iterating her stance never to attend such meetings on such issues also went on record to say that the CPM was responsible for whatever has happened in Darjeeling, presumably including in her wild ambit of non-falsifiable argument, the separatist issue as well.