From Our Correspondent
Guwahati: Congress Present and the Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in the Centre, Sonia Gandhi on Saturday made appeal to insurgent groups opposed to peace dialogue to give up violence.
She also asked them to come forward for talks to help accelerate the current pace of socio-economic development in Assam under Congress rule for the last 11 years.
Addressing a massive rally organised by the party on the occasion of completion of the first year of Tarun Gogoi government in the third successive term, Sonia Gandhi said, “Because of the policy of dialogue adopted by the UPA government almost all the major insurgent groups in Assam have come forward for peace talks with the government by giving up arms.
The few extremists groups which are still oppose to dialogue should realize the futility of violent means and come forward for talks with the government to solve their problem.”
Thousands of Congress workers from various parts of the state converged at Sarusajai Stadium at the outskirt of the city to attend the anniversary bash f Gogoi government defying the statewide bandh called by the anti-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) in protest against the visit of Sonia Gandhi.
The Congress president said that the Congress party would remain indebted to the people of Assam for the tremendous faith imposed on the party and vowed to do everything possible to speed up the on-going socio-economic development process initiated in the State by party’s government led by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
“I’m delighted to be in Assam once again and more delighted to be present on this momentous occasion of first anniversary of the third consecutive Congress government in Assam.”
“It has reflected the immense faith bestowed by the people of Assam on Congress party’s policies and at the same time it has multiplied our responsibility to live up to the aspirations of the people.”
“I congratulate chief minister Tarun Gogoi and his team as well as Congress leaders and workers for making it possible,” said Sonia Gandhi who was dressed in traditional Assamese mulberry silk ‘mekhela-chador’.
She said Congress was following the path shown by former Prime Minister Late Rajiv Gandhi who signed Assam Accord 27 years back to put the state on the path of socio-economic development.
“Our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who has represented Assam in Rajya Sabha for two decades now, is very alive to the issues related to development and prosperity of Assam,” Sonia said.
Pointing to the ethnic diversity of Assam, Sonia Gandhi said, “It has been proved again and again that only a Congress government can do welfare of for all communities in the State as the party is respectful and sensitive to issues related to each and every community.”
She reminded the people of Assam that 11 years back , before Congress came to power in the State in 2001, the situation in Assam was deplorable in all fronts – the state’s coffer was empty, employees were not getting salary regularly, there was no development, no power and people were afraid to come out of house after darkness.
“The situation has changed completely during the last 11 years of Congress government and there is no doubt that Assam will develop on a fast track from now onwards,” she said.