The Centre today said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi will take a decision on holding dialogue with ULFA as he is in tough with the outfit's leaders.
Home Minister P Chidambaram said he had left it to the Chief Minister of Assam to decide when and how the talks should begin with ULFA leadership. "The Chief Minister of Assam is in touch with ULFA leaders or otherway round -- the ULFA leaders are in touch with the Chief Minister of Assam.
So, when the offer for talks will be made by ULFA, I am sure the Chief Minister will decide," he told reporters here. Chidambaram said the central government has left it to the Assam government to decide on the time of holding the dialogue with ULFA. Gogoi had said here on October 19 that the central and Assam governments have decided to give "green signal" to start the negotiations with ULFA leadership.
"The central government will initiate the talks with ULFA through an interlocutor by December. The Assam government will act as facilitator," Gogoi had said. Former Intelligence Bureau chief P C Haldar, who was appointed as interlocutor, is expected to finalise the modalities of talks before initiating the peace process with ULFA leadership.
Most of the ULFA leaders, including the group's 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa, are currently in jail while Paresh Baruah is believed to be hiding in Myanmar. Peace talks with ULFA are expected to give a boost to Congress party, which has been ruling Assam for two consecutive terms, to fight assembly elections early next year.