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Cong yet to spell out stand on poll pact

By KALYAN BAROOAH
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NEW DELHI, Jan 18 - The Assam Congress� decision to go it alone in the Assembly polls is likely to be endorsed by the AICC, albeit after a discussion with the party high command, vice president Rahul Gandhi said here today.

Interacting with a select group of newsmen, Gandhi said that it has been his policy not to impose or veto anything from Delhi. �We will go along with whatever the local party unit decides,� he said.

Asked about the possibility of the Congress forging an alliance with the AIUDF, Gandhi said that he would not like to reveal what he �thinks� about it, but will soon discuss the matter with the Assam State Congress leaders.

Asked if he received any feedback from the Assam State leaders, Gandhi said that he would call them soon to Delhi and discuss the matter.

Replying to a volley of questions, Gandhi, when asked about the BJP-BPF alliance, declined to comment about it. �I have nothing to say,� was all he said.

When asked that the BJP and Congress party would have a face to face standoff in Assam out of the five States going to the polls, Rahul Gandhi played it down, stating that the Congress has fought the BJP in other States like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

�We will do well in Assam as we have a sound political base in the State under the leadership of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi,� he said.

Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s style of functioning, the Congress vice president while referring to the manner in which the Naga Accord (NSCN) Accord was signed, said that a slight miscalculation on the part of the Government would have resulted in Manipur going up in flames.

�We are talking about 90 per cent of Manipur�s territory, and just imagine that the State Government there was not even consulted,� Gandhi said

None of the chief ministers of the neighbouring States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur were taken into confidence and were caught unawares, when the deal was suddenly announced, he recalled.

The Congress party was also anxious to know what was in the Accord kept under tight wraps by the Modi Government. �When we contacted our chief ministers, we came to know that they were ignorant, so we requested them to contact the Nagaland Chief Minister. We got the feedback that even he was unaware about the details,� he revealed.

Saying that the Naga issue was a complex matter, he said that the Prime Minister should first consult all the major stakeholders before announcing the deal.

He suspected that due to the political stalemate in Parliament at that time, he found a way to divert the attention of the nation. The Prime Minister had called Opposition leader Sonia Gandhi and other leaders of the political parties to declare signing of the Accord.

About the withdrawal of the special category status to the North Eastern States, Gandhi demanded that the special category status should be restored. �The Special Category Status should be restored to the North Eastern States,� he said.

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Cong yet to spell out stand on poll pact

NEW DELHI, Jan 18 - The Assam Congress� decision to go it alone in the Assembly polls is likely to be endorsed by the AICC, albeit after a discussion with the party high command, vice president Rahul Gandhi said here today.

Interacting with a select group of newsmen, Gandhi said that it has been his policy not to impose or veto anything from Delhi. �We will go along with whatever the local party unit decides,� he said.

Asked about the possibility of the Congress forging an alliance with the AIUDF, Gandhi said that he would not like to reveal what he �thinks� about it, but will soon discuss the matter with the Assam State Congress leaders.

Asked if he received any feedback from the Assam State leaders, Gandhi said that he would call them soon to Delhi and discuss the matter.

Replying to a volley of questions, Gandhi, when asked about the BJP-BPF alliance, declined to comment about it. �I have nothing to say,� was all he said.

When asked that the BJP and Congress party would have a face to face standoff in Assam out of the five States going to the polls, Rahul Gandhi played it down, stating that the Congress has fought the BJP in other States like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

�We will do well in Assam as we have a sound political base in the State under the leadership of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi,� he said.

Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s style of functioning, the Congress vice president while referring to the manner in which the Naga Accord (NSCN) Accord was signed, said that a slight miscalculation on the part of the Government would have resulted in Manipur going up in flames.

�We are talking about 90 per cent of Manipur�s territory, and just imagine that the State Government there was not even consulted,� Gandhi said

None of the chief ministers of the neighbouring States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur were taken into confidence and were caught unawares, when the deal was suddenly announced, he recalled.

The Congress party was also anxious to know what was in the Accord kept under tight wraps by the Modi Government. �When we contacted our chief ministers, we came to know that they were ignorant, so we requested them to contact the Nagaland Chief Minister. We got the feedback that even he was unaware about the details,� he revealed.

Saying that the Naga issue was a complex matter, he said that the Prime Minister should first consult all the major stakeholders before announcing the deal.

He suspected that due to the political stalemate in Parliament at that time, he found a way to divert the attention of the nation. The Prime Minister had called Opposition leader Sonia Gandhi and other leaders of the political parties to declare signing of the Accord.

About the withdrawal of the special category status to the North Eastern States, Gandhi demanded that the special category status should be restored. �The Special Category Status should be restored to the North Eastern States,� he said.

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