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ULFA remains threat to Assam election
The shadow of ULFA hangs on the coming Assam polls as it has always been on all previous elections.
Guwahati: The shadow of ULFA hangs on the coming Assam polls as it has always on all previous elections, both parliamentary and assembly, during the three decades of its existence.
Though a major faction of ULFA, led by its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, has stated it has nothing to do with the poll, the banned organisation still remains a threat as the anti-talk faction of Paresh Baruah is openly opposed to the holding of elections.
The anti-talk faction issued a threat to Congress members and grass root workers and followed it up with an IED attack on Assam Pradesh Congress headquarters here, giving rise to claims that the faction was hand in glove with opposition parties - Asom Gana Parishad and BJP.
According to intelligence sources, the faction may carry out attacks in the run-up to polls to prove a point and assert its existence.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi alleged that the threat coupled with the silence of opposition parties over it clearly indicates there exists a 'unholy' link between the parties and a section of ULFA.
"The ULFA has adopted a partisan attitude as it is issuing threats to the Congress alone and not to the BJP and AGP," he pointed out.
The Paresh Baruah-led faction has warned it will resort to an armed struggle against the alleged arrogant policies of the Congress and has called upon people to stay away from meetings organised by ministers, legislators and other party leaders.
The ULFA, on the other hand, has alleged that Congress never gave any importance to legitimate democratic struggles of indigenous Assamese to protect their land and identity and neither took steps to resolve the various issues concerning the state.
The Rajkhowa faction, however, has decided to remain "neutral" and will have no role to play in the forthcoming election.
"We will have zero involvement in the Assembly polls. We will keep away from the election process and not participate in it. Our topmost priority is now to take the peace process initiated with the government forward," the outfit's 'foreign secretary' Sasha Choudhury said.
The Chief Minister said the silence of BJP on the ULFA threat was particularly significant and "they have information that the outfit will extend support to the saffron party".
BJP state unit President Ranjit Dutta, however, denied the allegations, claiming the Congress, "burdened with charges of corruption and failure on all fronts, was feeling threatened and making baseless accusations."
Gogoi also said it was a common knowledge that former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta of the AGP had links with the ULFA, which was vehemently denied by Mahanta, who said that people of Assam would not be taken in by Congress "lies".
Gogoi asserted that his party did not require services of surrendered ULFA militants to win any election, but was capable of doing it on the basis of its performance during the last 10 years.