Govt rules out division of Assam

GUWAHATI, Jan 9 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today ruled out any further splitting of the State, negating the demands for separate States of Bodoland, Kamatapur and Karbi Anglong. “There can be no further division of the State. All genuine grievances can be addressed within the existing framework,” Gogoi said during a media interaction.

On the possibility of talks with the banned ULFA, Gogoi reiterated that while efforts were on to bring the elusive ‘c-in-c’ of the outfit, Paresh Baruah, to the negotiating table, “talks could be held even without Baruah.”

Reasoning that there had been a number of instances in the North-east where talks had been held successfully with rebel outfits even without their chief leader, Gogoi said that the important thing was to make a beginning in the peace process. “This is the Government of India’s stand as well as my personal view,” he said, adding that a formal dialogue with the ULFA was on the cards but “not immediately.”

On the challenge thrown by AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary asking for declaration of assets by the ministers, Gogoi said that Patowary should lead by example and declare his assets first. “I had asked Patowary to make public his assets when he was a minister,” he added.

Gogoi said that it was the Congress Government which brought the RTI Act for making available all government information in the public domain and to ensure transparency and accountability in the government machinery’s functioning.

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