The West Bengal government on Tuesday refused to discuss the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state raised by some hill-based outfits during an all-party meeting here, as it requested them to withdraw the ongoing indefinite shutdown in the north Bengal hills.
Rejecting any discussions on Gorkhaland, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee argued that the matter was not under the state government's jurisdiction.
"They (hill parties) raised the demand of Gorkhaland but we did not agree with this issue. We said this is not in our hands and we cannot discuss this. You can raise your voice as it is your democratic right, but the state government has its own jurisdictions, some constitutional obligations and bindings," Banerjee said after the meeting at the state secretariat Nabanna near here.
Major political parties in the hills including the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha attended the meeting.
"We requested them to withdraw the ongoing shutdown that has been continuing for so long and restore normalcy in the region keeping in mind the suffering of the locals. Every body in the meeting agreed that peace and normacy should be restored. Let them take their own time," she said.