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Gogoi urges ultras to join peace process

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Jan 2 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today urged �those outside the mainstream� to join hands with the Government to usher in permanent peace and faster economic development.

�I appeal to those who are outside the mainstream to give up the path of confrontation and adopt conciliatory posture by joining the peace process to usher in durable peace and faster economic development in the State,� he said in a statement.

The Chief Minister also criticised the Centre for hiking the price of non-subsidised LPG (cooking gas) cylinders by Rs 50 in the New Year. Last December also the rates were increased by Rs 60.

�This will hit the common people hard. The Centre has done precious little in containing prices of essential items, including foodstuff and medicines. The Prime Minister is apparently busier making foreign trips than in devoting his time and energy to resolving the burning issues of the nation,� he said.

Pointing out that Assam and other parts of the North East were having problems arising out of the region�s peculiar geographical location, Gogoi said that it called for special thrust by the Centre to address the problems.

But, he added, the Centre is curtailing the funds meant for the backward region. �The Centre�s indifference is complicating the situation here. The North East Industrial and Investment Policy (NEIIP), too, has been diluted by withdrawing the concessions,� he said.

The Chief Minister praised the Assam Police for ensuring peaceful New Year celebrations by thwarting attempts by certain sinister forces to disturb peace in the State.

Gogoi added that the manner in which the people celebrated the New Year with gusto was a pointer that peace and stability had returned to the State.

�Assam is on the path of peace, development and social harmony. However, though the State has surged ahead on various fronts, it still has miles to go,� he admitted.

Thanking the people of the State for extending support and cooperation to the present Government during the past 14-and-a-half years of its rule, Gogoi said, �I am indebted to the people of the State for reposing faith and trust in the present dispensation and giving us the opportunity to serve them. I hope that they would continue to extend support and cooperation enabling the Government to translate its vision into making Assam one of the developed States of the country.�

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