Mamata to meet Chamling on March 16

Darjeeling: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said she would meet her Sikkim counterpart Pawan Chamling on March 16 to discuss developments in Darjeeling so as to ensure peace and prosperity in the region.

The meeting would be held at the northern West Bengal secretariat Uttarkan ya.

“Day after tomorrow, I will have a one on one meeting with the Sikkim Chief Minister. We will discuss about Darjeeling’s development. We may discuss about peace, prosperity and everything.

“I think we can work together for the interest of Darjeeling, for the interest of the country,” said Banerjee on the concluding day of the Hill Business Summit here.

The relations between the governments of the two states have deteriorated over the Gorkhaland agitation.

Banerjee and the state administration have in recent months accused Sikkim of helping pro-Gorkhaland Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supremo Bimal Gurung to evade arrest.

Only last month, Banerjee alleged that Sikkim was “fomenting trouble” in northern West Bengal’s Darjeeling. However, the mountainous state’s ruling party Sikkim Democratic Front “condemned” Banerjee for levelling such allegation and claimed the agitation in Darjeeling had nothing to do with Sikkim.

“Whenever there is an agitation in Darjeeling then the main life line to Sikkim, National Highway 10, is affected. It is closed and many Sikkimese and other tourists suffer because of this.

“Sikkim and Sikkimese want that the issues related to the people of the Darjeeling Hills be sorted out amicably within the Constitution of India and in a peaceful manner. This will bring peace in this very strategic region,” SDF had said in a statement then.