Saturday, June 15, 2024

Gogoi asks Advani to name areas ‘given away’ to Bangladesh


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GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday contested L K Advani’s claim that Assam had “given away” land to Bangladesh in a recent agreement with the neighbour and asked the BJP leader to identify such areas.

“Where have we given away land? Tell us which area of Assam has been given away. Only Bangladesh’s land in adverse possession of Assam has been given,” Gogoi told reporters here responding to Advani’s accusation during his ‘Jana Chetna Yatra’ rally here on Thursday.

“Before going to Bangladesh, the Prime Minister had met opposition leaders and discussed the issues that were to be taken up during his Bangladesh visit,” Gogoi said.

Stating that there was no secrecy in the land deal, the chief minister said Advani could have raised the issue in Parliament as it was in session when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returned from Bangladesh.

On Advani’s criticism of the UPA government’s “failure” to bring back black money from Swiss banks, Gogoi said, “When he was deputy prime minister under the NDA government, what did he do to bring it back. It is the UPA government that has taken action to bring back the money.”

On “failure” to seal the Indo-Bangladesh border to stop infiltration, Gogoi said, “Did he go to the border when he was the Union Home Minister? But UPA’s then Home Minister Shivraj Patil had visited the frontiers.”

Gogoi said he had written to Advani when he was the union home minister on the need for border fencing, lighting and river police to prevent infiltration from Bangladesh, but there was no response.

The chief minister claimed that Advani had even wanted to close the Border Commission office here, but was prevented from doing so.

On Advani’s accusation that the UPA chairperson had the last word on policy matters and not the prime minister, Gogoi said, “the party is above the government as parties form the government in a democracy.

The policy of the party is only implemented by the government.” Gogoi blamed the NSCN(I-M) for creating trouble on the inter-state border in Assam.

“The NSCN(I-M) is creating trouble and causing problems for us on the border along Nagaland.” There were reports of the militant outfit attacking villages at Merrapani in Assam’s Golaghat district and torching of houses in Dima Hasao (NC Hills) district. The NSCN(I-M) is under ceasefire with the Centre. (PTI)


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