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Assam’s Top Cop Claims Congress Sought ULFA’s Help to Win 2001 Polls, Forced People to Vote in its Favour

Ghanashyam Murari Srivastava, former DGP of Tripura and Assam, has claimed that before the 2001 elections, Baruah passed a strict order to his men to hold negotiations with the Congress, which was then in Opposition.

Biju Kumar Deka | CNN-News18

Updated:March 11, 2019, 8:03 PM IST
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Assam’s Top Cop Claims Congress Sought ULFA’s Help to Win 2001 Polls, Forced People to Vote in its Favour
Ghanashyam Murari Srivastava
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Guwahati: Battle lines have been drawn after the announcement of the Lok Sabha election dates and the Congress, which had ruled Assam thrice on the trot from 2001 to 2016, is hoping to regain the lost ground.

As the state prepares itself to go to polls in three phases on April 11, 18 and 23, Ghanashyam Murari Srivastava, former DGP of Tripura and Assam has made a startling claim. Speaking to News 18, Murari said that Congress came to power in 2001 with the help of banned insurgent group ULFA, which later formed a faction called ULFA-I.

Alleging that there is a strong nexus between United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I) and the political parties of Assam, Srivastava said: "In 2001, ULFA was directly involved in Assam’s Assembly elections. The insurgent group helped Congress win the elections in Assam in exchange for a huge amount of money.”

"We intercepted a message of ULFA commander in chief Paresh Baruah, wherein he passed an order to their comrades to attack the candidates of Assam Gana Parishad (AGP). In the same message, he ordered the men to kill the candidates of another political party as well,” said the former top cop.

Srivastava further claimed that before the 2001 elections, Baruah passed a strict order to his men to hold negotiations with the Congress, which was then in Opposition. "In the 2001 Assembly elections, the ULFA cadres were deployed in the polling centres to force people to vote in favour of Congress," Srivastava added.

Congress won the 2001 polls with 71 seats, while the AGP could manage only 20 seats, even though it had allied itself with the BJP. The AGP’s political fortunes continued on a downward slide after 2001, affected by internal divisions and leadership crises.

In 2011, the incumbent Congress government headed by Tarun Gogoi, like that of his predecessor Bimala Prasad Chaliha, managed to win a third term, and that too with a thumping majority, a rare achievement since the ‘anti-incumbency’ in the state.

With 2019 Lok Sabha elections inching closer, Srivastava says, ‘The Baruah-led ULFA(I) does not have the power to influence the upcoming general elections. The group can at best lead to an ‘incident’ in two to three districts of upper Assam only.’

After assuming the chief minister’s role in 2001, Gogoi started putting his men in key administrative positions in the state. One day he reshuffled 29 senior IPS officers and transferred 18 senior IAS officers.

Among the most significant changes was the shifting GM Srivastava, from Additional Director General (Operation) to Additional Director General (Training & Armed Police). During his second term, Gogoi appointed Srivastava as the DGP of Assam in 2008 and during the third term, he appointed Srivastava as his security advisor in 2013. Srivastava is an IPS of Assam and Meghalaya cadre of 1972 batch.

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