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Gogoi asks Dispur to make stand clear

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Sept 9 - Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today asked the BJP-led State government to make its stand clear on the vexed Assam-Nagaland boundary problem.

Referring to reports that the final Naga Accord may be signed before Christmas, Gogoi said making a hue and cry after the accord is signed would be of no use.

�We need an assurance from the government now that the State�s boundary would not be altered. We want a solution (to the Naga issue) but not at the cost of Assam,� Gogoi told a press conference here.

Stating that the Congress would not accept the demand of the NSCN-IM for unification of all Naga-inhabited areas, which includes parts of Assam, Gogoi charged the State government with not putting up a strong case in the Supreme Court which is hearing the inter-State border dispute.

The veteran Congress leader said the then Atal Behari Vajpayee government had proposed to extend the ceasefire with the Naga group to areas in Assam, but he had opposed and thwarted that move. �The Central government can give whatever it wants to the Naga groups... but all should be confined within Nagaland�s boundary,� Gogoi added.

The Congress leader also took at a dig at the BJP for not mentioning the names of Mahatma Gandhi and first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the general knowledge book, which was distributed among children recently. �The BJP is trying to distort the history of the country. They can name the first Deputy Prime Minister in the book, but not the first Prime Minister,� he said.

Training his guns at the State BJP, he described Sarbananda Sonowal as the �most impractical Chief Minister�. �He is giving deadline after deadline but not a single has been met by the departments concerned. He had directed repair of all roads within 15 days, but see the condition of the roads now. He had directed repair of all embankments by March... what happened? On one hand they say they have launched a crusade against corruption, on the other one after another accused is getting bail as police is failing to file charge-sheets,� Gogoi added.

Asserting that people need �delivery�, he also questioned why development activities have come to a standstill even though the State government is claiming that there has been a hike in Central allocation to the State.

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