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  India   Politics  25 May 2017  Assam CM: Ready to talk to Ulfa(I) within limits of Constitution

Assam CM: Ready to talk to Ulfa(I) within limits of Constitution

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANOJ ANAND
Published : May 25, 2017, 1:23 am IST
Updated : May 25, 2017, 2:28 am IST

The BJP chief minister asserted that his government was not going to compromise on the territorial integrity of the state.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. (Photo: PTI)
 Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. (Photo: PTI)

Guwahati: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said here on Wednesday that his government was ready to hold talks with the anti-talk faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent), but within the framework of the Indian Constitution.

Talking to reporters on the completion of one year in office, Mr Sonowal said, “We are willing to resolve the conflict situation through talks with any group, but it is possible only within the framework of the Indian Constitution.”

The outlawed Ulfa (I) has been harping on three pre-conditions: that talks be held on the issue of sovereignty, that they take place outside India and under the supervision of the United Nations.

The BJP chief minister asserted that his government was not going to compromise on the territorial integrity of the state.

Mr Sonowal’s first call for talks with Ulfa (I) goes against the policy decision of the home ministry — not to hold talks with any insurgency/rebel groups indulging in violence.

Summarising his one-year tenure, Mr Sonowal reiterated his government’s commitment to provide corruption free governance in the state.

“We are following the policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — zero tolerance on corruption,” he said while pointing out how his government has started to wage a war on corruption.

“We have succeeded in unearthing many scams of the previous government,” he said, referring to cases like the cash-for-job scam in the Assam Public Service Commission, the Rs 2,250 crore scam in the state social welfare department, and the Rs 700 crore Assam agricultural department scam which came to light after he became the chief minister. All these scams took place during the previous Congress government.

Asserting that a lot more is yet to be done to tackle corruption, Mr Sonowal said that after his government’s initiative to remove all illegal check gates, corruption in government departments and extortion had shown a dip and that there has been a visible jump in the tax collection. “In 2016-17, we could increase the tax revenue by 20.5 per cent to Rs 12,800 crore from the 2015-16 collection of Rs 10,106.05 crore — implying that this Rs 2,700 was draining out of the system,” he said.

Explaining how, thanks to the vigilance department, his government has succeeded in tightening some loopholes, Mr Sonowal said, “In the last one year, the non-tax revenue collection has also registered a jump from Rs 27.41 crore to Rs 3,500 crore. My government has spent Rs 1,502 crore under MNREGA in the last one year, against Rs 620.90 crore spent by the previous government in 2015-16.”

Flanked by leaders of alliance partners AGP and BPF, Mr Sonowal also clarified that there were no issues in the alliance.

“We are together to take the state to a new height,” Mr Sonowal said, while reiterating his government’s commitment to implementing the Assam Accord and updating the National Register of Citizenship in Assam.

Tags: sarbananda sonowal, indian constitution, ulfa (i), narendra modi
Location: India, Assam, Guwahati (Gauhati)