Assam CM urges Centre to take up review of SC judgement

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday requested the Centre to take steps to review the recent Supreme Court`s judgement that supporters of any banned organisation are not punishable by law.

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun
Gogoi on Thursday requested the Centre to take steps to review
the recent Supreme Court`s judgement that supporters of any
banned organisation are not punishable by law.

``The judgement will have serious consequences and
encourage anti-Indian and secessionist forces in the days to
come``, Gogoi told reporters here.
In such a case, it will be very difficult to maintain
law and order situation and ``I think this verdict by the apex
court calls for a review``, he said.

The Supreme Court had recently passed an order stating
that being merely a member of a banned organisation is not
punishable unless there is clinching evidence of the person`s
direct involvement in any incident of violence.

The Chief Minister criticised the opposition parties
in the state for disrupting the proceedings in the just
concluded session terming it as ``unfortunate and
uncalled for``.

``The opposition got ample opportunity to pin down the
government on the issue of North Cachar Hills funds diversion
scam but they adopted an escapist attitude which cannot be
understood by the people of Assam``, Gogoi said.

Leader of the opposition Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is a
``man who has been chargesheeted by the CBI in the Letter Of
Credit (LOC) scam and as such the opposition has no right to
criticize the government``.

``It may be mentioned that Mahanta is the only Chief
Minister chargesheeted by the CBI in the history of Assam. He
as the leader of the opposition has actually hatched a
conspiracy to safeguard himself on the floor of the house by
not allowing a debate on the NC Hills scam``, he said.

The allegation levelled by Mahanta regarding
involvement of the ministers in the NC Hills scam was totally
baseless and false, the Chief Minister said.

``The truth is that our government had unearthed the
scam in the NC Hills and no one will be spared if found
guilty. Meanwhile, our government has already handed over nine
cases to the CBI and the process is on to hand over six other
cases to the agency. I have directed CID to expedite the
process``, the Chief Minister said.
The AGP tried to push back the wheels of development
by disrupting the proceedings of the House with the ulterior
motive to put the government in an embarassing position.

``The party tried to stop the passing of
vote-on-accounts which could have deprived the government
employees from getting their salaries, besides bringing
implementation of government schemes and projects to a
grinding halt``, Gogoi said.

Both terms of the AGP government under Mahanta`s
leadership were the darkest chapters in the history of Assam
with various scams like seeds scam, shallow tubewells, green
house, veterinary scam coming to the fore.

``The people of Assam rejected Mahanta led AGP by
ousting them in all elections since 1998 and now the AGP
leaders are projecting the same person as their saviour``, he

When the Congress came to power in 2001 there was
total lawlessness in the state with the militants calling the
shots and there was huge flight of capital, Gogoi said.

The Chief Minister said that when they came to power,
the government exchequer was not only empty but there was a
deficit of Rs 500 crore and a whopping loan amount of Rs 2000

``The situation prior to 2001 is no longer there
because our government has initiated a slew of schemes and
projects on all fronts which have brought a remarkable
economic turnaround and hastened the process of development``,
he said.
During the AGP rule, the 11th Finance Commission`s
amount for the state was fixed at Rs 13,280 cr whereas
the 13th Finance Commission awarded the Congress government a
staggering Rs 57,832.70 crore.

``Today, I can say with pride that my government would
leave a huge amount for the next government, which of course
will be ours, and not an empty government exchequer left by
the then AGP government``, Gogoi said.

The Chief Minister claimed that the last five years
of the Congress government was the ``best period in the
history of Assam so far and that has been possible because all
segments of the population have rallied behind us and extended
their unstinted help and support``.

Gogoi not retiring from politics

Assam Chief Minister Tarun
Gogoi today asserted that he was not retiring from politics
and the challenges posed by the Opposition had made him
resolute to return the Congress to power for the third
consecutive term.

``I am not retiring now. The Opposition has challenged
me and this has made me feel younger. I accept their challenge
and we firmly believe that it will be our party which will
return to power``, Gogoi told reporters here.
``It is not that I am being projected as the Chief
Minister. We are not bothered about who is going to be the
Chief Minister``, he added.

The Chief Minister asserted he has been in ``politics
for a long time and the people of Assam will decide my fate``.

The statement made by Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) that
they will win around 50 to 60 seats in the forthcoming polls
and if they lose ``it will be due to tampering of EVMs by the
ruling party is nothing but ridiculous. The stark reality is
that AGP is a losing party and the people of Assam do not
have any faith in it``, Gogoi said.

Asked whether former AGP MP and students` leader
Sarbananda Sonowal`s joining the BJP would affect the
Congress, the Chief Minister claimed it was not a matter of
concern for the party.

``Surprisingly, it was the same Sonowal who was the
common candidate of the AGP-BJP in the last Lok Sabha
elections and he had to taste defeat at the hands of the
Congress candidate``, Gogoi added.


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