In an apparent snub to a citizens' forum trying to facilitate talks with the ULFA by supporting a discussion on the sovereignty demand, the Assam government today asserted that no parleys will be held with the group on the issue.
"Our stand is very clear. The people of Assam want to stay with India and the state is an integral part of the
country. The question of discussion on sovereignty does not arise," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters here.
Assam has age-old ties with the rest of the country, both historically and culturally and "we cannot hold talks on
"Some intellectuals have suggested talks on sovereignty while some others have said it can be discussed
even if it is not granted, but our stand on this issue is crystal clear. There can be no discussion on this," Gogoi
Speakers at a public meeting organised by Citizens' Forum, an organisation of intellectuals formed to facilitate
talks between the Centre and ULFA, had suggested that the issue of sovereignty could be discussed and explained why it could not be granted.
The Forum later adopted a resolution that both the Centre and ULFA should come forward for talks without any
"Let the ULFA accept the resolution of the Citizen's Forum then we will talk," Gogoi said.
The 11-member Citizens' Forum, led by Sahitya Akademi winning litterateur Hiren Gohain, was formed on April 11 to
facilitate talks between the Centre and the ULFA.
The committee comprises noted litterateur Indira Goswami, former Peoples Consultative Group (PCG) members
Lachit Bordoloi and Dilip Patgiri and Sahitya Akademi award winner author Harekrishna Deka among others.
The PCG was formed by the ULFA in 2005 to facilitate talks for a negotiated settlement with the Centre but later
its members resigned as the process did not progress further after two rounds of talks with the Centre.