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Gogoi slams Sonowal for undertaking trip abroad during internal crisis

By STAFF CORRESPONDENT

JORHAT, May 12 - Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today took his successor Sarbananda Sonowal to task for State Government not taking a stand before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the contentious issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that at will grant citizenship to Hindu illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Assam.

The JPC, earlier this week, had held hearings from various organizations and individuals on the Bill in Guwahati and Silchar and later in Meghalaya.

The veteran Congress leader and former three-time Chief Minister also came down heavily on Sonowal for undertaking a tour abroad at a time when the State was witnessing mass protest against the Bill.

Sonowal along with the Agriculture Minister Atul Bora was scheduled to leave for Vietnam today along with a farmers� delegation to learn about latest agricultural practices.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Gogoi admonished Sonowal for not presenting the State Government�s stand before the JPC. The former Chief Minister, while praising Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for opposing the said Bill, said that Sonowal-led government lacked such kind of determination.

Further taking a dig at the government, Gogoi questioned whether those running the government possessed the blood of brave Ahom General Lachit Borphukon or Bodon Borphukon � an Ahom military commander who had invited Burmese forces to invade Assam.

On State Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary�s announcement yesterday in Guwahati that State Government could not presently make its stand on the Bill public due to the ongoing NRC update process, Gogoi rejected the claim stating that both were two different and separate issues.

The former Chief Minister said that Patowary�s logic for the government not taking a stand on the Bill was not acceptable. He further targeted Sonowal for going on a tour to Vietnam when the situation in the State was volatile and critical.

Gogoi said that Agriculture Minister could take a trip abroad, but how could the head of the government leave the State when there was a severe unrest. Replying to a query on his party being divided over the Bill, Gogoi admitted that there were differences of opinion between Congress leaders belonging to Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys.

He downplayed the issue by saying that during the Assamese language agitation several decades ago, there was also division in the opinion among Congress leaders of both the valleys, but the official stand of the party prevailed.

Gogoi also denied Patowary�s claim that his (Gogoi�s) cabinet then had taken a decision supporting the Bill and had sent a letter in this regard to the Centre. He challenged Patowary to make any government document public which could support his charge against him (Gogoi).

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Gogoi slams Sonowal for undertaking trip abroad during internal crisis

JORHAT, May 12 - Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today took his successor Sarbananda Sonowal to task for State Government not taking a stand before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the contentious issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that at will grant citizenship to Hindu illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Assam.

The JPC, earlier this week, had held hearings from various organizations and individuals on the Bill in Guwahati and Silchar and later in Meghalaya.

The veteran Congress leader and former three-time Chief Minister also came down heavily on Sonowal for undertaking a tour abroad at a time when the State was witnessing mass protest against the Bill.

Sonowal along with the Agriculture Minister Atul Bora was scheduled to leave for Vietnam today along with a farmers� delegation to learn about latest agricultural practices.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Gogoi admonished Sonowal for not presenting the State Government�s stand before the JPC. The former Chief Minister, while praising Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for opposing the said Bill, said that Sonowal-led government lacked such kind of determination.

Further taking a dig at the government, Gogoi questioned whether those running the government possessed the blood of brave Ahom General Lachit Borphukon or Bodon Borphukon � an Ahom military commander who had invited Burmese forces to invade Assam.

On State Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary�s announcement yesterday in Guwahati that State Government could not presently make its stand on the Bill public due to the ongoing NRC update process, Gogoi rejected the claim stating that both were two different and separate issues.

The former Chief Minister said that Patowary�s logic for the government not taking a stand on the Bill was not acceptable. He further targeted Sonowal for going on a tour to Vietnam when the situation in the State was volatile and critical.

Gogoi said that Agriculture Minister could take a trip abroad, but how could the head of the government leave the State when there was a severe unrest. Replying to a query on his party being divided over the Bill, Gogoi admitted that there were differences of opinion between Congress leaders belonging to Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys.

He downplayed the issue by saying that during the Assamese language agitation several decades ago, there was also division in the opinion among Congress leaders of both the valleys, but the official stand of the party prevailed.

Gogoi also denied Patowary�s claim that his (Gogoi�s) cabinet then had taken a decision supporting the Bill and had sent a letter in this regard to the Centre. He challenged Patowary to make any government document public which could support his charge against him (Gogoi).

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