Rajnath, Fernandes differ on president?s rule in Assam | india | Hindustan Times
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Rajnath, Fernandes differ on president?s rule in Assam

Rajnath Singh wopuld rather want the state to be handed to Ahe Army, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2007 22:20 IST

NDA convenor George Fernandes is for president’s rule in Assam following the killings by the United Liberation front of Asom (ULFA) but BJP president Rajnath Singh does not think it is the answer to end the violence.

Singh would rather want the state to be handed to the army for a crackdown on the militant group. "If the Centre seriously desired to eliminate the militancy problem in Assam, it could have done so within no time. The government is not serious," he told the media after visiting the injured and families of victims of the ULFA mayhem in Doomdooma and Longswal areas of Tinsukia district.

Singh said, "President's rule is not the solution to the terrorist problem. To eliminate terrorism the area has to be handed over to the army."

On the other hand, Fernandes demanded the immediate imposition of President's Rule in Assam following the massacre of Hindi-speaking people in the state.

He alleged there was a "secret understanding" between the Congress and the banned ULFA and the government was now finding it difficult to handle things. Reports from Guwahati said Fernandes also met four incarcerated ULFA leaders - vice-chairman Pradip Gogoi, political ideologue Bhimkanta Buragohain, cultural secretary Pranati Deka and Ramu Mech - at the central jail there.

"The Congress government which has links with the ULFA has to go as it has miserably failed to control law and order and protect innocent lives," he said. "Major opposition parties in the state are also silent on this because they get part of the loot."

Fernandes criticised the derailment of the peace talks between the ULFA and the Centre. He said there was an immediate need for resuming it. "Someone has to take the initiative and that is why I will personally take up the matter with the prime minister."

Fernandes said the jailed ULFA leaders tried to convince him the group was not involved in the killing of migrant labourers in the state.
"In Pradip Gogoi I found a sensitive mind and what he was talking made a lot of sense...They (said) the killings were the handiwork of the government to hide its corruption."

Speaking at Tinsukhia, the BJP chief said "at the time of election the present state government had an understanding with militant elements. Hence, they are under an obligation and therefore, not taking any action." He claimed that the ULFA violence was directed against the people from Bihar to evict them from Assam and settle illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

Reacting to statements by Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi that the ULFA acted at the behest of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad urged External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to reconsider his forthcoming visit to that country. "What purpose the visit is going to serve if the statement made by Jaiswal is true," he asked.