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UPDS insists PC agreed to neutral body

By Spl correspondent

NEW DELHI, Nov 26 � Confusion over the fate of the Karbi autonomous council persist, with the UPDS leadership claiming that a political understanding has been arrived at with Home Minister, P Chidambaram over administration of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council (KAATC) by a neutral body to ensure a level playing field.

A day after signing of what was described as a �historic� Accord, the UPDS leadership referring to a set of political understanding with Government of India, alleged that they were yet to be fulfilled.

At a press conference attended by the elusive chairman of UPDS, Longsodar Senar and other leaders, they stressed on dissolution of the existing autonomous council and appointment of a neutral authority by the Governor to oversee the election. They claimed that the understanding was arrived at a meeting with the Home Minister on November 23 at his North Block office.

The development has the potential to rock Karbi Anglong�s politics ahead of the elections. Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi has already ruled out the possibility of dissolution of the council, which has completed its term.

The �political understanding� was that from the date of signing of the Accord till holding of the next election, a neutral body would administer the KAAC, which will be appointed by the Governor after taking over the present council authority, in order to give a �level playing field� to all the stakeholders.

�We went to the Union Home Minister and we have raised these issues again and Chidambaram has made it very clear that immediately after signing of the Accord, he is going to take it up with the Governor of Assam to fulfil the commitment made by the Centre,� said prominent Karbi leader Elwin Teron.

�This was the single-most important commitment given by the Home Minister, on which ground the UPDS has agreed to come for signing this Accord,� said Teron, adding that certainly this is a test for the government to implement the terms of the agreement.

This would also give a signal that commitment of the Home Minister is strong enough and give us the faith that rest of the provisions of the Accord would be implement. �This is the first important step that is to be taken by the government. Otherwise it would jeopardise the future of the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS),� he said.

Replying to a question, Teron said the existing Council has to go because it is a commitment of the Home Minister.

Clarifying that discussions were held at two levels including political and technical, Teron said only the later formed part of the MoS. It is a signed document and a political understanding.

The Karbi militant leaders said they are willing to surrender their weapons within a week�s time though they have been given a month�s time. Some 300-odd cadres are then formally expected to join the mainstream.

The UPDS after disbanding their outfit is planning to jump right into the political arena and some of them are contesting election to the Council.

�We are prepared for it. Since the MoS is not ultimate we will continue our struggle and have a political platform.�

�We will take up the matter at Peoples� Alliance for Peace Agreement (PAPA) and discuss the matter,� said a UPDS leader, declining to spell out their political strategy.

The responsibility of conducting election to the KAATC would be entrusted to the State Election Commission.

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UPDS insists PC agreed to neutral body

NEW DELHI, Nov 26 � Confusion over the fate of the Karbi autonomous council persist, with the UPDS leadership claiming that a political understanding has been arrived at with Home Minister, P Chidambaram over administration of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council (KAATC) by a neutral body to ensure a level playing field.

A day after signing of what was described as a �historic� Accord, the UPDS leadership referring to a set of political understanding with Government of India, alleged that they were yet to be fulfilled.

At a press conference attended by the elusive chairman of UPDS, Longsodar Senar and other leaders, they stressed on dissolution of the existing autonomous council and appointment of a neutral authority by the Governor to oversee the election. They claimed that the understanding was arrived at a meeting with the Home Minister on November 23 at his North Block office.

The development has the potential to rock Karbi Anglong�s politics ahead of the elections. Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi has already ruled out the possibility of dissolution of the council, which has completed its term.

The �political understanding� was that from the date of signing of the Accord till holding of the next election, a neutral body would administer the KAAC, which will be appointed by the Governor after taking over the present council authority, in order to give a �level playing field� to all the stakeholders.

�We went to the Union Home Minister and we have raised these issues again and Chidambaram has made it very clear that immediately after signing of the Accord, he is going to take it up with the Governor of Assam to fulfil the commitment made by the Centre,� said prominent Karbi leader Elwin Teron.

�This was the single-most important commitment given by the Home Minister, on which ground the UPDS has agreed to come for signing this Accord,� said Teron, adding that certainly this is a test for the government to implement the terms of the agreement.

This would also give a signal that commitment of the Home Minister is strong enough and give us the faith that rest of the provisions of the Accord would be implement. �This is the first important step that is to be taken by the government. Otherwise it would jeopardise the future of the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS),� he said.

Replying to a question, Teron said the existing Council has to go because it is a commitment of the Home Minister.

Clarifying that discussions were held at two levels including political and technical, Teron said only the later formed part of the MoS. It is a signed document and a political understanding.

The Karbi militant leaders said they are willing to surrender their weapons within a week�s time though they have been given a month�s time. Some 300-odd cadres are then formally expected to join the mainstream.

The UPDS after disbanding their outfit is planning to jump right into the political arena and some of them are contesting election to the Council.

�We are prepared for it. Since the MoS is not ultimate we will continue our struggle and have a political platform.�

�We will take up the matter at Peoples� Alliance for Peace Agreement (PAPA) and discuss the matter,� said a UPDS leader, declining to spell out their political strategy.

The responsibility of conducting election to the KAATC would be entrusted to the State Election Commission.