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PM snubs ULFA on sovereignty

He asserted that there would be no changes in the territorial structure of NE states without their consent.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 13:03 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday ruled out any discussions with the insurgent outfit ULFA in Assam on the issue of sovereignty.

Manmohan asserted that there would be no changes in the territorial structure of Northeastern states without their consent.

"The question does not arise. We are all servants of the Constitution of India and the Constitutional position is quite clear on this," Singh said when asked whether the Government would hold talks with ULFA over its sovereignty demands.

"If ULFA wants to talk they are open to raise any issue they want but that does not mean all issues are open for negotiations," the Prime Minister added.

Asked about the perception that there were differences between the Centre and the state on tackling the ULFA problem, he said, "we want peace to prevail. We want to ensure that the state develop in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity."

Singh, who is on a two-day election campaign tour to the state, said his fervent hope would be to accelerate the peace process with ULFA and bring all those "misguided youths" to the mainstream of the society.

On the NSCN(I-M)'s demand for territorial integrity, he said no changes can be made in the present status without the consent of the states.

"We are committed to maintaining the territorial integrity of the states," he added.

Asked whether the peace process with ULFA would continue in the event of a non-Congress government coming to power in Assam, he said a Congress government at the Centre and a party government in the state will provide the best possible option.

First Published: Apr 01, 2006 13:04 IST