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PM arriving on April 2 for poll campaign

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 27 � Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will visit the State on April 2 as part of the Congress� poll campaign for the first phase of the Assembly polls here which is due on April 4.

Dr Singh will address two party rallies at Dhakuakhona and Tezpur on that day. He will again be visiting the State on April 7 for a campaign ahead of the second phase of the Assembly polls scheduled for April 11. He will address two rallies at Nagaon and Barpeta.

Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will arrive on March 31 and address two rallies at Karimganj and Dhubri. She will be back in the State again for campaigning for the second phase of the polls later.

Revealing this, Digvijay Singh, AICC general secretary and election in-charge Assam, told the media that a host of top Congress leaders including AICC general secretary Rahul Ganndhi, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, and Salman Khurshid would be visiting the State in the next few days.

Mukherjee will arrive tomorrow on a daylong visit to the Barak Valley and upper Assam.

�Rahul Gandhi will miss the electioneering for the first phase as he suffered a fracture in a leg but should be available during the second phase,� Singh said.

Singh also said that the change in the Prime Minister�s schedule had nothing to do with the ULFA�s bandh call on March 28, and that the change was necessitated by some urgent engagements of the Prime Minister.

Making an appeal to the ULFA to abjure violence and join the peace process, Singh said that the Congress stood for peace and development accommodating the interests of all sections of the people.

Answering a query as to why the ULFA was targeting the Congress, Singh said that the party had a history of being targeted by terrorists due to its unflinching commitment to peace. �But we are never cowed down by any forces of terror�I also appeal to ULFA c-in-c Paresh Baruah to join the peace talks,� he said.

The senior Congress leader also asserted that the party was better placed to face the Assembly polls this time than in 2001 and 2006.

On the spurt in charges of corruption against the Congress, Singh sought to defend the party saying that its leadership had ordered impartial inquiries into all the cases besides taking action on those proved to be guilty.

�We have taken action in many cases including the Adarsh Housing, CWG and 2-G spectrum scams. In Assam too, Chief Minister Gogoi has handed over several cases of the NC Hills scam to CBI,� Singh said, and accused the BJP of double standards, saying that the party chose to remain silent on a number of proven instances of corruption involving its bigwigs as in the case of Bangaru Laxman, Jaya Jaitley, etc., besides in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand where the Chief Ministers were found to be involved in corruption.

Singh said that the Congress� commitment to fight corruption should be evident from the fact that it introduced the RTI Act to empower the public in tackling the menace.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

PM arriving on April 2 for poll campaign

GUWAHATI, March 27 � Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will visit the State on April 2 as part of the Congress� poll campaign for the first phase of the Assembly polls here which is due on April 4.

Dr Singh will address two party rallies at Dhakuakhona and Tezpur on that day. He will again be visiting the State on April 7 for a campaign ahead of the second phase of the Assembly polls scheduled for April 11. He will address two rallies at Nagaon and Barpeta.

Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will arrive on March 31 and address two rallies at Karimganj and Dhubri. She will be back in the State again for campaigning for the second phase of the polls later.

Revealing this, Digvijay Singh, AICC general secretary and election in-charge Assam, told the media that a host of top Congress leaders including AICC general secretary Rahul Ganndhi, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, and Salman Khurshid would be visiting the State in the next few days.

Mukherjee will arrive tomorrow on a daylong visit to the Barak Valley and upper Assam.

�Rahul Gandhi will miss the electioneering for the first phase as he suffered a fracture in a leg but should be available during the second phase,� Singh said.

Singh also said that the change in the Prime Minister�s schedule had nothing to do with the ULFA�s bandh call on March 28, and that the change was necessitated by some urgent engagements of the Prime Minister.

Making an appeal to the ULFA to abjure violence and join the peace process, Singh said that the Congress stood for peace and development accommodating the interests of all sections of the people.

Answering a query as to why the ULFA was targeting the Congress, Singh said that the party had a history of being targeted by terrorists due to its unflinching commitment to peace. �But we are never cowed down by any forces of terror�I also appeal to ULFA c-in-c Paresh Baruah to join the peace talks,� he said.

The senior Congress leader also asserted that the party was better placed to face the Assembly polls this time than in 2001 and 2006.

On the spurt in charges of corruption against the Congress, Singh sought to defend the party saying that its leadership had ordered impartial inquiries into all the cases besides taking action on those proved to be guilty.

�We have taken action in many cases including the Adarsh Housing, CWG and 2-G spectrum scams. In Assam too, Chief Minister Gogoi has handed over several cases of the NC Hills scam to CBI,� Singh said, and accused the BJP of double standards, saying that the party chose to remain silent on a number of proven instances of corruption involving its bigwigs as in the case of Bangaru Laxman, Jaya Jaitley, etc., besides in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand where the Chief Ministers were found to be involved in corruption.

Singh said that the Congress� commitment to fight corruption should be evident from the fact that it introduced the RTI Act to empower the public in tackling the menace.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)