Kolkata, June 21 (IANS) Terming the West Bengal government-sponsored all party meet on June 22 to discuss the volatile situation in the north Bengal hills as "delayed and pointless", the state opposition parties have decided to stay away from it.
While the Left Front accused the state government of trivialising the "sensitive issue" and unnecessarily delaying meeting, the Congress questioned the meeting's effectiveness as the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself will not be present.
"While the whole country considers the Darjeeling to be a sensitive and emotive issue, the government of West Bengal is not giving it priority," CPI-M politburo member and MP Mohammad Selim told IANS.
Accusing Banerjee of delaying the all party meeting, Selim said her "unilateral and authoritarian" moves have taken the situation in Darjeeling out of hand.
"When the Darjeeling situation started deteriorating, we asked for an all party meeting but the Chief Minister did not respond to it. She took unilateral and authoritarian decision by managing the hills through police intervention.
"As a result, the scenario in Darjeeling went almost out of hand for the state administration," Selim alleged.
He also questioned the relevance of the meeting as all the prominent political parties in the hills including the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha have unanimously decided to boycott it.
"Also the political parties in the hills who are major stakeholders in the issue, have also decided to boycott it. So what is the use of that meeting," he asked.
Echoing Selim's view state, Congress president Adhir Chowdhury also accused the Chief Minister of not taking the issue seriously and contended that she should have been present at the meeting.
"We expected the Chief Minister to take up the issue seriously but she is handling it in a supercilious manner. If it is a political meeting, why did she go abroad to attend a not so important event?" asked Chowdhury while talking to IANS.
"Even the Chief Secretary or the Home Secretary would not be present. What would we discuss with the Divisional Commissioner? We think this meeting would not make any difference so we decided to skip it," he added.
The Bharatiya Janata Party on the other hand, termed the meeting as an eyewash and advocated discussions between the Centre and state governments and Gorkha leadership.
"The issue in Darjeeling can be resolved through discussion between the Centre, state government and the agitating Gorkha leaders. This all party meeting is an eye wash and we have decided to boycott it," said state BJP president Dilip Ghosh.