Ulfa 'bans' PM for 'illegal' residency
Did Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acquire his Assam residency illegally? The United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) thinks so, thus justifying its 'ban' on his election campaign in Assam.india Updated: Mar 26, 2011 18:44 IST
Did Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acquire his Assam residency illegally? The United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) thinks so, thus justifying its 'ban' on his election campaign in Assam.
The Paresh Barua-led anti-talks faction of the Ulfa on Saturday called a 12-hour Assam bandh in a bid to stop Singh from campaigning for the Congress and helping it to hold on to power for a third straight term. The PM is scheduled to address a series of public rallies in eastern Assam, once the outfit's breeding ground.
The shutdown, the outfit's spokesperson Arunodoy Dohotia pointed out, was to protest the PM's "failure in keeping his written promise" to discuss all core issues toward settling the Assam-India conflict.
In an emailed statement, the Ulfa also accused Singh of acquiring his Assam domicile "against the rules" on his way to becoming the Prime Minister of "colonial India". The Ulfa considers Assam to be a sovereign nation that the British wrongfully handed over to New Delhi.
In 1991, former chief minister Hiteswar Saikia had overnight made Singh a resident of Assam and a primary member of the Congress (from central Assam) in order to facilitate the latter's passage to the Rajya Sabha. Singh has been an Upper House member from Assam since.
The Ulfa also accused the UPA-II under Singh of hatching a conspiracy to divide the outfit. It was in reference to peace process the pro-talks group headed by Ulfa chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa had initiated last month.
"India under Singh has not only divided the Ulfa to destroy the organisation; it has unleashed a plan to divide Assam and make the Assamese community extinct," the Ulfa said, signing off with a call to boycott ministers of "colonial India” and leaders from any political party who come to Assam to "sow the seeds of divisiveness among the indigenous people of the Northeast to continue their domination".
Intelligence officials had earlier this week revealed a subversive plan codenamed 'Operation Agni' that the Ulfa had designed with support from the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland.
The NSCN(K), based in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar, has reportedly been providing logistic support to the Ulfa for carrying out its threat against Congress leaders, particularly in eastern Assam. The Ulfa had timed that threat with the PM's visit to Assam last month.