Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi
on Tuesday said he will ask the Centre to provide legal refugee
status to the people from Bangladesh who had to flee that
country due to religious persecution even after the cut-off
year of 1971.
"On humanitarian grounds, I will take up with the Centre
the issue and include it in the election manifesto to be
published by the third week of this month," Gogoi told a press
"We are not bothered about what religion they (migrants)
belong, whether they are Hindus or Muslims. On humanitarian
ground, those who have been forced to leave Bangladesh due to
religious persecution should be granted legal refugee status,"
Denying that he was trying to garner the votes of the
majority community by making this announcement ahead of the
assembly election, the chief minister said the people who
were forced to migrate to India from Bangladesh due to
religious persecution will stay.
Claiming that his party will win the assembly election
and form the government for the third consecutive term, Gogoi
said there was "development all over the state and law and
order problem has been tackled effectively."
The chief minister said this year 62 civilians were
killed when compared to the last year of the opposition
Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) government 10 years ago when 212
people lost their lives to the militants.
Launching a scathing attack on AGP, Gogoi alleged that
during the regime of former chief minister Prafulla Kumar
Mahanta "secret killings" (of ULFA kins) had taken place.
"Now development is on all fronts and people are free
to move around as the law and order situation has improved",
Rejecting the charge that Congress had violated the model
code of conduct by distributing bicycles and blankets among
the villagers, Gogoi said this was the policy of the
"If the opposition feels that we have violated the model
code of conduct, they are free to approach the Election
Commission", he said.
Pointing out that the electoral alliance with Bodoland
People`s Front (BPF) will stay, Gogoi said his party will
field candidates in most of the 126 constituencies pending
understanding with the Bodo party in "some seats".
Replying to a query whether party tickets will be given
to aspirants who have a criminal background, Gogoi said those
who have chargesheets filed will not be nominated.