West Bengal to take decision on separate Gorkha state by mid-August

     'Gorkha Janmukti Morcha' (GJM) spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri has said the West Bengal government has been asked to take a decision on formation of a separate state of Gorkhaland within two weeks. Chhetri and the seven Morcha members who had taken part in the Delhi meeting appeared positive about the outcome. They insisted that the discussions were solely based on their demands. "The central government has said this strictly that within two weeks of time, the state government should inform the central government of the decision," said Chhetri told reporters here. "The central government has proposed a Gorkha Interim Authority, as the assembly elections in West Bengal are due next year and a final decision could await the outcome of the provincial polls," he added. "We want to separate from the Bengal government and if the interim set-up is formed, we will consider it only till December 31, 2011 , and we are not going to compromise with the proposed area which we have already demarcated," he said. Negotiations on powers and jurisdiction of the proposed Gorkha Interim Authority would begin on August 17. The GJM has held several rounds of tripartite talks with representatives of central and state governments over the issue but nothing concrete has emerged. The Gorkha population in West Bengal is around a million out of the state's 80 million people.

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