The outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) on Friday urged New Delhi for a plebiscite to decide if the people of Assam want independence.
“Talks, if any, have to be on the issue of Assam’s independence or sovereignty. If the government cannot hold talks on the issue of sovereignty or independence, let there be a plebiscite on the issue,” ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah said in an emailed statement to the local media here.
The ULFA, a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland since 1979, said it was ready to hold peace talks if New Delhi discussed their core demand of sovereignty.
The central government had already rejected their demand saying sovereignty cannot be a subject for discussion.
“In the name of holding peace talks, the government has all along been staging dramas,” the ULFA statement said.
“Our stand is very clear, we are not going to sit for talks if the issue of sovereignty is not discussed,” Baruah said.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi once again reiterated the government position saying sovereignty cannot be discussed.
“No country in the world could ever discuss or grant sovereignty. The question of discussion on sovereignty simply does not arise,” the chief minister said.