West Bengal, Sikkim decide to bury the hatchet

Saturday 17th March 2018 07:54 EDT

KOLKATA: In a positive step towards cooperation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called differences between Sikkim and West Bengal a thing of the past. The statement came shortly after meeting her counterpart from Sikkim, Pawan Chamling. He also reiterated Banerjee's sentiment, saying the two states had resolved their differences and were looking to work for mutual benefit.

Relationship between both the states went sour after Chamling backed the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of West Bengal. He said his state shall work for the development of Darjeeling, and invited Banerjee to visit his state. She reciprocated saying Chamling will be invited to attend the next edition of the state's annual business summit. The move came a day after the SC rejected fugitive Gorkha leader Bimal Gurung's prayer for protection against arrest in West Bengal.

Darjeeling district officials said, after the meeting of the two chief ministers, it remains to be seen if the Sikkim administration co-operates in nabbing Gurung and other Gorkha leaders currently on the run. West Bengal is of the view that many of them are hiding in Sikkim, and the local administration does not want to flush them out. WB has formally blamed Sikkim of harbouring criminals responsible for the unrest in Darjeeling last year.

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