Land deal beneficial to Assam: Gogoi

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday praised Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina whom he described as a "true friend of India".

"The Bangladesh regime under Sheikh Hasina has been supportive to our issues including that of infiltration and insurgency", Gogoi told reporters here.

"On the insurgency front, the Bangla government has been cooperative and that is why you are seeing the result", the chief minister said in an obvious reference to the handing over of top ULFA leaders including chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah who were detained in that country. They later sat with the Centre for formal talks.

Referring to strident criticisms from the opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), BJP and the influential student body, the All Assam Students Union (AASU), Gogoi said they "have not understood the matter".

On the land deal signed during the recent visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh, the chief minister claimed the state in fact, stood to gain as much as 1240 acres of land which was under possession of that country.

"The country's opposition including former prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia, have criticised Hasina for giving away land to us and ironically the parties (AGP, BJP and AASU) are charging me with doing vice versa. Are they supporting Khaleda Zia?" he remarked.