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Gogoi, Cong CMs to boycott Niti Aayog meet

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 14 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi along with the chief ministers of Congress-ruled states is likely to skip tomorrow�s meeting of the Niti Aayog, to be chaired by the Prime Minister.

Gogoi told newsmen here that he is scheduled to return to Guwahati tomorrow and is unlikely to attend the Niti Aayog meeting.

Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also convened a meeting of the chief ministers of the north-eastern states. The North-east has five Congress ruled states � Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

The decision of the chief ministers of the Congress-ruled states to boycott the meeting follows the AICC�s tough stand against the amendments to the land Bill. The Congress has steadfastly opposed any amendments to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act that was passed by the then UPA-II government in 2013.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Gogoi, accompanied by APCC president Anjan Dutta took part in a 20-minute meeting with party vice president Rahul Gandhi today. The meeting was convened by Gandhi to discuss organisational matters, Dutta told newsmen.

Replying to questions, Dutta clarified that the meeting today did not discuss anything about estranged Congress MLA Himanta Biswa Sarma. �Only organisational matters were discussed,� he stressed.

Asked if Sarma was forming a new party, Dutta pleaded ignorance and said they too had got such reports from the media only.

Gandhi reportedly sought names of at least five Assam Congress members for nomination to the AICC, sources said.

Meanwhile, while reposing full confidence in the leadership of Anjan Dutta, the Chief Minister said that he was ready to contest the 2016 Assembly polls.

About reports of Himanta Biswa Sarma quitting the Congress, he said he had been hearing about it for the last two years, but nothing of that sort had happened. �I have been hearing about such reports but he has not quit the party so far,� he said.

Replying to a question, both Gogoi and Dutta dismissed reports and said that the party was not going to deny tickets to any sitting MLAs, but would refer all their names to the AICC for final selection. They were reacting to reports that some Congress MLAs were going to be axed in the 2016 polls.

About BJP president Amit Shah�s Assam visit, Gogoi and Dutta said the Congress had nothing to worry about it.

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