GUWAHATI, Sept 25 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that he was hopeful of engaging the ULFA in a dialogue �soon� even as he denied having any information about the 22 hardcore ULFA militants held in Bangladesh being handed over to the Indian authorities on Friday.
�The only information we have is that the militants left their camps�they have not been handed over to us,� he said at a press conference.
Gogoi sounded upbeat over the prospects of a dialogue with the ULFA, and said that it was a good sign that more and more militants were trying to join the mainstream.
�We are optimistic about starting a dialogue with the ULFA soon even though I cannot give you a date for that right now. And not just the ULFA, our efforts are on to bring other outfits such as the NDFB to the negotiation table,� he said.
On the nagging issue of big dams, Gogoi said that he was not against big dams per se but a mechanism to safeguard the people from adverse downstream impacts must be there in the dams.
�I am not against big dams but the interests of the downstream people must be protected by adequate safeguards and remedial measures,� he added.
On the controversies over the Anna Suraksha Yojana, the Chief Minister said that there had been some anomalies in some places but the Opposition parties should approach the Government with a list of genuine beneficiaries instead of politicizing the matter.
�I am not saying that there is no anomaly but I will appeal to the Opposition to give us a list of genuine people left out,� he said.
Gogoi also came down heavily on the AGP, saying that the State saw little development during its two terms, and the people therefore rejected the party. �The AGP's regime was one of total failure and that's why they are suffering rejections one after the other from the people. Moreover, the �secret killings� - something unprecedented in the country - took place when they were in power. The secret killings could not have taken place without connivance of the Government,� he said.