Kolkata: It certainly seems like Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is waving a magic wand in West Bengal as she claimed today to have "settled" the 15-year- old Darjeeling issue, although it is not known if that includes any decision on its original demand for a Gorkhaland state.
"Today is a historic day. The Darjeeling issue which has been lingering for a long period is settled at the official-level talks. I have informed Union Home Minister P Chidambaram," Banerjee told reporters at the Writers' Building in Kolkata.
Asked about the 'magic formula' that clinched the agreement, Banerjee, who had earlier stated that she would solve the Darjeeling problem within three months, said, "It is our heart and good intention. The magic formula for reaching this agreement is development."
Noting that Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh would announce details of the nitty gritties, she said, "I have asked him to talk to the Centre so that the agreement can be formalised at Darjeeling where I will be present."
Asked if a financial package will be given to Darjeeling, she retorted, "Shall I attend a wedding without a gift? We love the people of Darjeeling."
Later GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told reporters that transfer of tauji or the right over tea gardens and resolution of the problem of casual employees of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council were reached at the meeting.
Asked about the GJM's original demand for Gorkhaland, Giri declined to comment.
Today was the second day of the official-level talks in which Giri, four GJM MLAs, the chief secretary and Home Secretary G D Gautama, were present.