Assam CM urges Centre to take up review of SC judgement
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 21:11
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 said.

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 crore.

''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.


First Published: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 21:11

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