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Assam: Barpeta Satra temple head refutes Rahul Gandhi’s claims of being stopped by RSS

The head of Barpeta Satra, the Vaishnavite monastery, dimissed Rahul’s claim, saying there was no RSS worker at the religious place.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

PTI
A controversy broke out over Rahul Gandhi’s charge on Monday that he was stopped from entering a Vaishanvite monastery in Barpeta by RSS workers during his recent visit to Assam, an allegation denied by the temple chief.As the claim by the Congress Vice President triggered a political slugfest, the BJP alleged it was “fabricated”, saying RSS does not run temples and without naming anyone said “wrong messages” are being spread to “mislead” people. Rahul claimed that what happened to him at the temple during his visit to Assam last week was BJP’s style of politics which was “unacceptable”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”When I went to Assam I wanted to visit a temple in Barpeta district. And at the temple the RSS people there stopped me from entering the temple. This is the way the BJP operates,” Rahul told reporters outside Parliament.”They made the women there stand in front of me and told me that I cannot enter the temple,” he said, and asked, “Who are they to stop me?”Rahul, who was in Barpeta last Friday, said he visited the monastery later in the evening when the suspected RSS workers had left the place. The head of Barpeta Satra, the Vaishnavite monastery, dimissed Rahul’s claim, saying there was no RSS worker at the religious place.Even as Barpeta Satra Bura Satriya (head) Bakhista Deba Sarma termed the allegation as “unfortunate”, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi stuck to his stand.”There is no RSS agent in the Satra. It is a religious place and only religious activities are undertaken here. Where does politics come into the Satra”?,” Sarma said while speaking to reporters in Barpeta.”The women here are simple people and they come twice a day for participating in the community prayers in the Satra. They were only waiting at the Satra gate to see Rahul Gandhi. They do not know anything about politics,” Sarma said.”Connecting a centre of religion and culture like the Satra with politics by Gogoi who is the chief minister is most unfortunate. In future, politics and the Satra should not be interlinked,” he said.Gogoi maintained that the Satra had told him that Rahul Gandhi will not be allowed to enter the monastery.”The Satra head had told me that Rahul Gandhi will not be allowed to enter the Satra. The RSS instigated it. Never heard anyone being prevented from entering the Satra before. I ask them even today why they prevented (Rahul from entering). Everyone has the right to enter. If RSS is not there, then why not question them why we were not allowed in,” the chief minister told reporters in Guwahati.”There were 40 to 50 women preventing our entry.” BJP termed as “fabricated” Rahul’s charge alleging he had become a “lying machine” and was resorting to such non-issues to disrupt Parliament.”Earlier somebody (Selja) claimed that she was stopped from entering a temple in Dwarka and she was exposed in Parliament. What Gandhi says is fabricated and a lie,” BJP leader and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters in Delhi.Another BJP leader and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu without naming anyone said “spreading” wrong messages and to mislead people has become the habit. “Do RSS run the temples?,” he asked.

BJP, RSS conspired to not allow Rahul Gandhi to enter Barpeta ?Satra: Tarun Gogoi

“While concluding the padyatra, Rahul entered the Satra to pay his respects and seek blessings…It was a conspiracy by RSS, who has infiltrated into Satras also,” Gogoi said

Rahul Gandhi in Assam

PTI
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Sunday alleged that BJP and RSS had conspired to not allow Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi to enter Barpeta Satra during his visit to the state.”They (BJP and RSS) had stationed a few women at the gate (to stop Gandhi) of the Satra yesterday,” he told newsmen here. Gandhi was on a two-day visit to Assam from December 11, which the chief minister described as a “grand success”.”We came to know about it in the morning itself and Rahul was also informed about this. We wanted to avoid a confrontation and so he did not pay a visit in the morning despite having women police with him. “While concluding the padyatra, Rahul entered the Satra to pay his respects and seek blessings…It was a conspiracy by RSS, who has infiltrated into Satras also,” Gogoi said, adding, an inquiry would be conducted into incident to find out who was responsible. He refuted allegations that land belonging to different Satras across the state are being encroached upon by illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Not a single Bangladeshi is on Satra land. If yes, I will resign. I have not received a single complaint from any Satradhikar. It is false propaganda by the BJP,” he added. To questions, Gogoi said his son and Lok Sabha member Gaurav would not be a candidate for the assembly polls scheduled for next year.”He (Gaurav) is not ready yet and he is not capable enough to become a chief minister. For that you need experience,” Gogoi told a press conference here.About Congress’ strategy for the polls, the chief minister said the party will contest alone and form the next government. “We will not go for any alliance. Our governance will be for rule of peace. We are also for a change, but change for development. We have done it in our tenure and this will be our thrust in the coming polls,” he added.

BJP aiming to create law and order problem, impose President’s rule: CM Tarun Gogoi

Gogoi said RSS, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Sena and other Hindutva elements were working under the guidance of a senior BJP leader to create law and order problem in the state so that grounds could be cleared for imposition of the President’s Rule.

Coming down heavily on BJP’s ‘Dispur Gherao’ protest, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday said it was aimed at creating law and order problem so that President’s Rule could be imposed in the state. “BJP’s Dispur Gherao protest today was just to cover up Modi government’s failure in fulfilling the promises… BJP is trying to create a law and order problem in the state at any cost and wants to impose President’s Rule here,” Gogoi told a press conference here. “BJP is trying to foment communal clashes and we have got intelligence inputs about this and attempts are being made to put beef inside temples. They are trying this in sensitive places like Silchar and Dhubri… They are also encouraging extremists, including both insurgents and jehadis, in Assam,” he alleged.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gogoi said RSS, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Sena and other Hindutva elements were working under the guidance of a senior BJP leader to create law and order problem in the state so that grounds could be cleared for imposition of the President’s Rule. The BJP, he said, does not want to contest the forthcoming Assembly polls as “they know that if the Congress government remains, it will do more good work in the remaining few months”.The Narendra Modi government at the Centre has failed on its promises such as bringing back black money, controlling inflation, deporting illegal immigrants, job creation and not constructing big dams among others, he added. “There is no match in their words and deeds. Digital India, Make in India — these are just to divert the attention from main issues,” Gogoi said. The BJP’s state unit today organised a march to Dispur to protest against the alleged corrupt rule of the Congress government.Many BJP leaders and supporters have been detained after it turned violent and police fired rubber bullets in the air, lobbed tear gas shells and used water cannons to control the mob.

Congress open for ‘understanding’ with parties to defeat BJP in Assam, says Tarun Gogoi

Holding a press conference in Guwahati, Gogoi also said that BJP has no local leadership in the state and was dominated by “Hindi-speaking” leaders from outside.

Tarun Gogoi

Ruling Congress will not go for any pre-poll alliance with any party in the Assembly polls next year but is open for “understanding” to defeat communal forces, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said on Monday.Holding a press conference in Guwahati, Gogoi also said that BJP has no local leadership in the state and was dominated by “Hindi-speaking” leaders from outside. “We will not go for an alliance before the polls. We are only for understanding with any party. We must fight communal forces like BJP,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress is open for an understanding with opposition parties like AGP, AIUDF and even RTI activist Akhil Gogoi-led farmers’ body Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti to defeat the BJP in the forthcoming Assembly polls, he added. “I want understanding with one and all, including the media and intellectuals,” Gogoi said.Referring to NDA’s drubbing in Bihar polls, he said, “It was the battle of Kurukshetra and they were defeated very pathetically. They are now nervous and engaged in false propaganda against me here.”Launching attack on local BJP leadership, “BJP in Assam is run by Hindigiri. The local leaders are spineless.They do not have the Assamese blood in their veins.” Taking swipe at turncoat Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister described his former party colleague and now BJP leader as an “opportunist”. “He is like a professional singer. While Himanta was with me, I was the best person on earth. Now there is no one worse than me. He does not have any commitment to any ideology or party,” Gogoi said.He added that the state government will bring a White Paper by December 20 regarding the Centre’s contribution to Assam during NDA tenure against the UPA rule. He also criticised the Centre for failing to control rising prices of essential items, including food.

Not diluting Nehru’s legacy: Govt shoots back at Congress

The question on Nehru’s legacy was part of a larger issue on revamping of museums and overhaul of institutions including the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library ‘to reflect contributions of modern India’ raised by Congress members Gaurav Gogoi, Jyotiraditya Scindia and M Ramachandran.
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Government on Monday dismissed in Lok Sabha suggestions of any attempt to dilute the legacy of country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.”No madam,” was the written response of Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma in the Lower House of Parliament to a question on “whether an attempt is being made to dilute the legacy” of Nehru.The question on Nehru’s legacy was part of a larger issue on revamping of museums and overhaul of institutions including the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library ‘to reflect contributions of modern India’ raised by Congress members Gaurav Gogoi, Jyotiraditya Scindia and M Ramachandran.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his written reply, the minister said for “any institution to remain relevant has to have an inbuilt system of reinventing and reinvigorating itself, without changing the core values and basic structure of the institutions.” He said, wider information and ideas have to be incorporated.”However, the basic values and basic character of these institutes are not be changed/altered.” Sharma said in museums, 14 points listed for museum reforms are implemented to improve visitors facilities, guide facilities, opening of new galleries and conservation and restoration.The prestigious Library had been in the news after Sharma accused the previous UPA regime of “illegally” appointing director of NMML violating an order of the Election Commission (EC) last year. On criticism from Congress over revamping the NMML, he had said, India’s first Prime Minister was a national leader and not a “family property”.

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi urges President Mukherjee to replace Governor Acharya

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday urged President Pranab Mukherjee for his immediate intervention for replacement of Acting state Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya who has allegedly “converted his office into an annex of BJP office”.

In a letter to the President on Saturday, Gogoi alleged the continuance of Acharya as in-charge governor of Assam would cause immense difficulty in functioning of Parliamentary democracy and create fissures in the state’s secular ethos.

“We had welcomed Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya to our State as we presumed that being a high Constitutional functionary, he would conduct himself fairly, cautiously and circumspectly,” he said.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTIAssam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTI

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTI

“However, I am pained to say that ever since assuming office, the Governor of Assam through his actions has steadily lowered the prestige of the institution of the Governor,” the chief minister asserted.

Gogoi alleged that Acharya has been “making no distinction between his constitutional functioning as Governor of a State and his political and ideological instincts which are evidently linked to the ruling party at the Centre, the BJP, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh”.

He said, “Acharya made a shocking public statement that ‘Hindustan is for Hindus’ on 21 November. Such a statement, which was condemned by almost all sections of society, “reflect the unacceptably divisive and communal mindset of an incumbent holding a high Constitutional post” and “is in flagrant violation of the secular tenets of the Constitution”, the chief minister said.

Acharya unilaterally altered a panel belonging to the unrepresented communities as nominated members submitted by the Bodoland Territorial Areas and recommended by the Council of Ministers and replaced four of the six names with nominees of his own choice, Gogoi alleged.

“Aggrieved by this act of the Governor, the BTC filed a writ petition in the Guwahati High Court and the latter kept the notification issued by the State Government in abeyance,” he said.

Gogoi said the governor in his capacity as chancellor of Assam Agricultural University constituted a three-member committee to probe allegations against its vice-chancellor.

“The institution of the enquiry was challenged in the Guwahati High Court which then suspended the operation of the notification constituting the enquiry committee,” he added.

The chief minister also brought to the notice of the president the nomination of 10 members to the Court of Dibrugarh University by Acharya in his capacity as chancellor of the university.

“Contrary to statutory norms of the university the governor of Assam nominated four members to the Court of Dibrugarh University who hardly have any academic distinction other than being office bearers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or its sister organizations”, Gogoi alleged.

“The governor ignored deserving persons from Assam with brilliant educational background and sound social reputation and instead nominated people from other States by virtue of their affiliation with the RSS,” he said.

In the letter, Gogoi also mentioned about a meeting Acharya had with a delegation of the BJP leaders at Raj Bhawan on 21 September.

“It is clear from video footage of the meeting aired on local TV channels that during the discussions, the governor was advising on BJP’s political strategy like a senior BJP executive rather than acting like a Constitutional functionary. While the Governor may certainly interact with a delegation of a political party, it is shocking that the high office of governor has been converted to an annex of the BJP office,” Gogoi alleged.

“These incidents have been a big disappointment to me. Throughout my tenure as chief minister, Assam during the past 14 years, I have had the privilege of interacting with outstanding wise individuals who have enhanced the respect and prestige of the institution of governor and have
functioned not only as the Constitutional head of our State but also a mentor to the State Government,” he said.

PTI

‘Hindustan only for Hindus’ remark: Congress wants dismissal of Assam Governor PB Acharya

Gogoi alleged Acharya was working more as an “RSS pracharak than a Constitutional Head of the state.”

The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee on Friday took out a rally in Guwahati demanding dismissal of acting Governor PB Acharya for his alleged remark that “Hindustan is only for Hindus,” even as the BJP held a rally in Dibrugarh launching its campaign for the Assembly polls in the state due next year. Addressing the rally Congress president Anjan Dutta alleged that by his remark the Governor demeaned his post and violated his position of maintaining neutrality as a Constitutional head of the state by acting as a spokesman of the RSS.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dutta, along with other Congress leaders demanded Acharya’s dismissal alleging the Governor was using the Raj Bhavan as a headquarter of the RSS and claimed that the Governor had appointed pro-RSS persons without required qualifications in University governing bodies here. Earlier on November 22 Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had also demanded the Centre to appoint a permanent Governor in the state by replacing acting incumbent Acharya with an open minded person to keep unity in the country and continue with its development. Gogoi alleged Acharya was working more as an “RSS pracharak than a Constitutional Head of the state.” Meanwhile, launching a scathing attack on the Tarun Gogoi government, BJP president Amit Shah addressing a party Karyakarta Sanmelan in Dibrugarh, exhorted people to vote for BJP in Assam to bring in development, install a corruption-free government, increase employment avenues and safeguard its borders from illegal migrants.

#AwardsWapsi: BJP MP from Assam claims that Congress paid returnees Rs 10-15 lakh

Assam Chief Minister Tarun today hit back at BJP MP Rameswar Teli’s allegation that Sahitya Akademi awardees returning their prizes were paid heftily by the Congress, terming the claims as “baseless, unfortunate and disrespectful”.

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Assam Chief Minister Tarun today hit back at BJP MP Rameswar Teli’s allegation that Sahitya Akademi awardees returning their prizes were paid heftily by the Congress, terming the claims as “baseless, unfortunate and disrespectful”. In an official statement, Gogoi said, “Such an allegation is an insult to the fraternity of journalists and intelligentsia in our society.” Teli while making the claims at a press conference at Dibrugarh was apparently referring to senior journalist Homen Borgohain’s decision to return his Akademi award. Gogoi’s statement condemning the MP’s reference to Borghain said, “The person who has all along been serving society by being an honest journalist and whose integrity is beyond doubt, such a statement is a slur against his towering personality who himself is an institution in journalism.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Borgohain had returned his award in protest against growing intolerance in the country after the Dadri incident took place. Teli during his Dibrugarh press conference claimed that writers, artistes, historians and scientists, who returned their national prizes were “paid” by the Congress to do so. He alleged that those returning their national awards “were paid Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh each by the Congress”.

Tarun Gogoi and Mamata Banerjee condemn police entry into Kerala House over beef

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday condemned the entry of the police into the Kerala House in New Delhi following a complaint about beef allegedly being served there, saying it “is an attack on cooperative federalism.”

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dna Research & Archives
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday condemned the entry of the police into the Kerala House in New Delhi following a complaint about beef allegedly being served there, saying it “is an attack on cooperative federalism.””A complaint about beef being served in Kerala House and the manner in which the Delhi Police entered the state-owned Kerala House is an attack on cooperative federalism in our country,” Gogoi said.The tenets of democracy allow everyone to profess his own religious beliefs and practices and any external control on it is tantamount to violations of the rights of the citizens, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also condemned the “unauthorised” entry by some activists into Kerala House in New Delhi following allegations that beef was being served there saying it was an “unwise and unhealthy” attempt to “curb” people’s fundamental rights.Kerala government on Tuesday dismissed claims that beef was served at Kerala House and said that a complaint had been lodged over the entry of activists without permission after a phone call to the police yesterday claimed that cow meat was being served there.

Anti-minority dawn to dusk shutdown begins in Assam

Assam Governor PB Acharya and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi have welcomed the Central Government’s decision.

Tarun Gogoi
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At least ten organisations have reportedly begun enforcing a 12-hour-long shutdown in protest against the Centre’s decision to shelter minority people from Bangladesh without valid documents on humanitarian grounds. Assam Governor PB Acharya and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi have welcomed the Central Government’s decision, but Gogoi said it would have been better had the Centre consulted the Assam Government first before taking the decision. The BJP and several other organisations from Assam’s Barak Valley also welcomed the decision. The Asom Gana Parishad, All Assam Students Union, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti have opposed the move.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Several students union of Moran, Motok, Karbi communities among others alleged that Assamese people would be reduced to second class citizens in the state because of this decision.

Himanta Biswa Sarma was an asset, but his exit will not affect Congress: Tarun Gogoi

Himanta Biswa Sarma was “one of the assets” while he was a part of the government but the former minister’s departure will not affect the ruling Congress in the 2016 Assembly polls, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday said.

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi

Himanta Biswa Sarma was “one of the assets” while he was a part of the government but the former minister’s departure will not affect the ruling Congress in the 2016 Assembly polls, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday said.”Congress will not suffer because of his (Sarma’s) decision to join BJP. Ours is a party of ideology. Leaving of the party by one person will not impact us … Earlier also, many important persons left (Congress), but nothing happened to the party,” Gogoi told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Joining and leaving are parts of any political party,” he added. Asked about his association with Sarma, who was once a close associate and the state former education and health minister who quit over differences with the chief minister last year, Gogoi said, “He was one of the assets. He was a part of the government. I never said he was inefficient and that is why I gave him important ministerial berths.”Yes, it is true that he was my blue-eyed boy. I helped (Sarma) despite opposition of many senior Congress leaders.Today Delhi is accusing me that he was my blue-eyed boy and he became a dissident and has now joined BJP.” Gogoi questioned Sarma’s ideology for changing his allegiance from a “secular and pro-poor party” to a “Hindutva and communal party.””There were dissidents in ’70s and ’80s too. People left the party and formed or joined different parties. Some even formed new parties, with Congress ideology and name but none left the core ideology,” he said.Gogoi said there were many politicians in Congress, BJP, CPI or any other party and they never left their parties even in bad times because of adherence to its ideologies.Asked about his reaction after getting the news of Sarma’ proposed joining of BJP, Gogoi, who once told the dissident Congress leader was like his son, said “Initially I was shocked, but not now. It is part of life.” “Many people have come and left during my long political career. Personal things don’t count, it is about party ideology,” the Chief Minister said, adding that he did not want to raise old issues and create any “unnecessary bitterness” with Sarma.

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi votes for Indian Idol Junior contestant Nahid Afrin

Intense campaigning is on in Assam, particularly in her home town Biswanath Chariali, for Nahid’s victory in the singing reality show.
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dna Research & Archives
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday voted for Nahid Afrin, the young singing sensation from Assam, for the “Indian Idol Junior” Season II.In a statement, Gogoi said the young promising singer from Assam has been regaling the audience and viewers with her mellifluous voice and bringing laurels to the state. The Chief Minister appealed to the people of the state to vote for Nahid, who hails from Sonitpur district, to enable her to win the coveted singing reality show.Impressed by the singing of the 13-year old Visharad, a Part 2 student of classical music under the Bhatkhande Kala Kendra, the Indian Idol Junior Season 2 judges said she might get offers for playback singing by the end of this season.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Intense campaigning is on in Assam, particularly in her home town Biswanath Chariali, for Nahid’s victory in the singing reality show.

Over 5100 people killed in Assam insurgency in last 24 years

They were killed in 9382 incidents of violence by insurgents from 1991 to July 2015, Agriculture Minister Rockybul Hussain said on behalf of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in reply to a query in the Assembly.

Representational Image

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At least 5166 people, including 912 security personnel, were killed in insurgency in Assam in the last 24 years, the state government said on Monday.They were killed in 9382 incidents of violence by insurgents from 1991 to July 2015, Agriculture Minister Rockybul Hussain said on behalf of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in reply to a query in the Assembly. To control militancy and for the protection of life and property, the Unified Command structure was introduced in the state on January 21, 1997 with the police, army and paramiltary forces working together for anti-insurgency operations, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The measures to control militant activities in the state include setting up of fixed police pickets, increased patrolling by security forces, operation in the insurgent-active areas and involving the local people in the anti-insurgency operations, Hussain added.

Congress dares PM Narendra Modi to make Naga Peace Accord public

Holding PM Modi guilty of “obstinacy, obscurity and arrogance”, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “PM Modi has chosen to keep the elected governments of Assam, Arunachal and Manipur in complete dark with no involvement either in the process of negotiation or finalisation of terms of peace agreement.”

PM Modi

PTI
Congress launched a frontal attack on the Modi government charging it for misleading the country on Naga peace accord and blamed the Prime Minister Modi for “breaching the principles of cooperative federalism with impunity”.To put its point forward it presented the three chief ministers of Congress ruled north-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Assam who also lambasted the Central government for keeping them in total dark about the developments.Holding PM Modi guilty of “obstinacy, obscurity and arrogance”, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “PM Modi has chosen to keep the elected governments of Assam, Arunachal and Manipur in complete dark with no involvement either in the process of negotiation or finalisation of terms of peace agreement. What is appalling that that till date these elected governments neither have knowledge of terms of accord not have they been consulted.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Charging the PM with not informing the parliament the terms of accord, not holding an all-party meeting to discuss it and not even telling the contents to his own ministers and even the defence ministry, Congress dared the PM to make the terms of the Accord public. Attacking PM Modi, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said, “My first objection is that it violates the democratic principles and parliamentary procedure by not taking approval of the cabinet. The PM does Man ki Baat with the whole nation but does not convey Mann ki Baat even to his cabinet colleagues.”Debunking the Accord, as was also reported by the dna, Gogoi said, “How the Naga interlocutor can be the signatory of the accord. His signatures do not have any validity. The Accord is valid only if the home secretary or joint or some other high official signs it on behalf of the government of India. Questioning government’s secretive silence on features of Accord, Gogoi asked Is it indeed an accord or not or as NSCN (IM) chief Muivah said the solution has not been arrived as yet. “If that is so then what is the great achievement?” Gogoi asked.Expressing shock the way the issue has been handled, Manipur chief minister Ibobi Singh said he was told by MoS Jitender Singh that was nothing but simply a framework of agreement. “The why PM said it is an Accord. The whole of Manipur was agitated for not keeping them informed and forcing the accord on them,” said Ibobi Singh.The three chief ministers and Surjewala also charged BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman of telling blatant lies by asserting that the chief ministers were called for a meeting in Niti Aayog to discuss the peace agreement. Putting documents on record, both Ibobi Singh and Gogoi said, neither through any written letter not orally they were told such a thing. “We refused to take part in the Niti Aayog meeting as it called to discuss Land Acquisition bill which we are boycotting. The same day all the chief ministers of northeast were called but no agenda for the meeting was communicated. We boycotted that meeting also because of complete indifference on account of PM to grant audience for full six months on the issue to discuss special status for NE states,” they said.

Centre yet to release funds to tackle flood, erosion: Tarun Gogoi

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday alleged that the Centre is yet to release Rs 1,274 crore to solve the age-old twin problem of flood and erosion in the state.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday alleged that the Centre is yet to release Rs 1,274 crore to solve the age-old twin problem of flood and erosion in the state.In an official release, Gogoi said the state government had been taking up a slew of measures to find solution to flood and erosion, but the Centre has not taken any initiative so far.He said that “the Central government is yet to release a whopping Rs 25,707.97 lakh earmarked by the 11th Finance Commission against 100 schemes.””It is unfortunate and disquieting that the present Central government did not release the funds despite the state government releasing completely its share of funds,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Moreover, the Central government is yet to release Rs 1,01,660.39 lakh earmarked by the 12th Finance Commission against 41 schemes,” the statement said.Gogoi said the state government has been taking up a host of measures to control the problems of flood and erosion in the state out of its own resources, notwithstanding the fact that the Centre was yet to release the funds.He alleged that the present Central government has adopted a “lackadaisical attitude” towards solving the burning problems confronting the state, including the perennial flood and erosion problems. Gogoi also said though the Centre has decided to rechristen the Brahmaputra Board, nothing concrete has emerged so far.

Government looks at fractures in Opposition ranks to revive Monsoon session

There are also indications that the government may remove industrial corridor from the exempted category of projects, if Parliament returns to business.

Buoyed by the fact that not many Opposition parties answered Congress’s call for floor coordination last week, the government is hoping to revive the monsoon session of Parliament, which is apparently heading for a complete washout. To break the impasse and to isolate Congress, the government is holding the bait to further tweak the controversial land acquisition bill by including a fresh section which will allow state governments to have provisions of consent clause and social impact assessment while implementing the law. There are also indications that the government may remove industrial corridor from the exempted category of projects, if Parliament returns to business.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even though the entire opposition contributed to stalling of both House of Parliament forcing adjournments without transacting any business for a full week, demanding resignation of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chauhan respectively, the solace for the government has come that only representatives of the Nationalist Congress Party and the Aam Aadmi Party turned up at the Congress office in Parliament to discuss and decide on the floor strategy for the second week of session. Leaders from the Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal, AIADMK, DMK, Bahujan Samaj Party, Janata Party (United) and even the Left kept away, igniting hope within the government to roll out its much-awaited reform agenda.In Rajya Sabha, where the ruling party is in minority, a senior minister in the government stated that it is banking on the fractures in the Opposition ranks and isolation of Congress. Two major players – SP and TMC – have distanced themselves from demanding resignation of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, but insist on the dismissal of chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.Though, many BJP leaders do believe that Swaraj, Raje and Chouhan should have quit on their own, instead of causing extensive embarrassment to their party, there is division within Opposition ranks on the culpability of Swaraj for helping the former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. She has built a rapport with many Opposition leaders, who may oppose the Prime Minister, but are not willing to attack her.Congress’s dilemma is that regional parties seem reluctant to come together under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership to fight against the BJP. Last week, it was left to senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to forge an Opposition unity. He had personally called SP, BSP and JD (U) leaders explaining to them how there could not have been a more opportune time to expose the ruling party. While he succeeded in enlisting the support of the BSP, the SP kept changing its stand.Surprisingly, senior Congress leaders such as Digvijay Singh and others have not shown the stamina to unleash the tirade before media. Last week, even as tempers against government were running high and needed further stoking, Congress sent a greenhorn Gaurav Gogoi, son of Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, to address media briefing. But realising it had botched up strategy, next day, Azad appeared to salvage the situation, but not before conveying that instead of senior leaders, the aides of the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi were running the show.

Supreme Court rejects plea seeking OBC quota for Jat applicants in Bank PO exam

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea of Jat applicants, who have cleared various stages of Probationary Officers recruitment exam under the reserved OBC category, that they be considered for the jobs.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea of Jat applicants, who have cleared various stages of Probationary Officers recruitment exam under the reserved OBC category, that they be considered for the jobs.The court, which on March 17 had set aside the erstwhile UPA government”s notification to include Jats in the central list of OBCs to accord quota benefits to them, said that the issue has already been decided and there was no “vested” right in favour of Jat applicants.”If none of the persons have been given the letter of appointments then our judgement will apply,” a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At the outset, senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for some of the applicants, said that they have cleared various stages of the entrance test and then the verdict, quashing the Centre”s reservation notification, came.She cited various judgements to buttress the case that the verdict be made applicable “prospectively”. Jaising, however, also said, “this case does not go beyond the discretion of the court.”The applicants, belonging to Jat community, had cleared certain stages of the PO examination under the OBC category.However, they could not get the appointment letters on account of the consequences of the verdict. Earlier also, the court had dismissed a plea of Jat students seeking benefits of reservation under OBC in the ongoing process of admission in post-graduate (PG) medical and dental courses.It had said that the issue has already been decided and there was no “vested” right in favour of Jat students. Earlier, while setting aside the March 4, 2014 notification on the matter, the court had said that previous “possible wrong inclusions” cannot be the basis of further inclusion and reservation should be given only to the “most distressed”.

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi orders inquiry into allegations of bribery by Louis Berger

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday ordered an inquiry into allegations of bribe being paid by an American company to get jobs as consultants to Guwahati Water Supply Project.

Gogoi directed Additional Chief Secretary Subash Das to probe into the allegations that American company Louis Berger had paid bribes to government functionaries to be appointed as consultants, a statement issued by CMO’s said in Guwahati.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTI

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTI

Gogoi has asked the additional chief secretary to submit the report soon and said if any prima facie evidence of bribe being given is found, the state government will refer the case to CBI.

It was reported that Louis Berger had paid bribe to government functionaries in Goa and Assam to get jobs as consultants in the implementation of water supply projects.

The concerned project in Assam is Guwahati Water Supply project which is being implemented by Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority with funds received under Japan International Cooperation Scheme.

Former Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma held the Guwahati Development Department portfolio when the consultants were selected.

Alleging that corruption in the government has become rampant during Congress-rule in the state, Opposition BJP demanded a CBI probe into the scam.

Those who received bribes must be brought to book, BJP spokesperson Bijon Mahajan said.

Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader Akhil Gogoi has also demanded a CBI probe into the alleged scam.

PTI

Public ads: Supreme Court declines to entertain Ajay Maken’s PIL against Delhi government

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Maken, said that the guidelines have been flouted by the Delhi government and the budgetary allocation for public advertisement has also been raised from nearly Rs 30 crore to Rs 500 crore.

AFP
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea filed by Congress leader Ajay Maken accusing Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi of flouting the apex court regulations on public advertisements, saying “other efficacious remedies are available with him.”A bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and N V Ramana said, “The petition is not entertained because the petitioner (Maken) has other efficacious remedies available with him.” Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Maken, said that the guidelines have been flouted by the Delhi government and the budgetary allocation for public advertisement has also been raised from nearly Rs 30 crore to Rs 500 crore.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bench, however, said that it cannot entertain seperate petitions on the allegations of violation of its regulations. The apex court had on May 13 barred publication of photos of leaders in government advertisements except those of the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India while decrying “personality cult” as an anti-thesis of democracy.

CM Tarun Gogoi urges Centre to release pending funds to Assam

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday urged the Centre to initiate steps for the release of Rs 20,193 crore pending to the state to carry on developmental works.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTI

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTI

Submitting a memorandum to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi, Gogoi said the amount has been pending from various departments and oil companies.

“I request you (Jaitley) to kindly consider the matters favourably on urgent basis,” Gogoi said in the memorandum which was made available to the media in the state.

Out of the total amount, Rs 10,000 crore are the royalty due from oil companies and Rs 9,188 crore will be the anticipated loss during 2015-16 due to cut in budgetary allocations to the state.

Also, Rs 1,254 crore of the central sales tax compensation from 2010 to 2013 along with Rs 471 crore of balance grants under 13th Finance Commission have been mentioned in the memorandum as due amount.

“I would like to draw your kind attention to the inordinate delay in release of funds to the state government from the Centre.

I had also submitted a Memorandum to you on 11 May, 2015, highlighting the concerns of the state and issues which need your intervention.

“As there is no progress in these matters and in view of the reduced budgetary support of Central Government, I would like to bring out these issues again to your kind notice for early and positive consideration,” Gogoi said in the Memorandum to the Finance Minister.

The Chief Minister also requested Jaitley to increase budgetary allocations and financial support to the state by at least 12-15 per cent in the current year compared to the allocations for the year 2014-15, in view of increasing demand for development and inflation.

PTI

No society can forge ahead without women empowerment: Tarun Gogoi

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi says women are no less capable than men.

Tarun Gogoi
File Photo

Women are no less capable than men and they have been in some cases superior to men, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said at the 7th Annual Event Honouring Women Achievers of the North East 2014-15.”Without empowerment of women, no society or state can forge ahead,” he said. “A country’s progress can be judged only on the basis of how far its women have made strides. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure women empowerment on all fronts,” he said at the award-giving function organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), North East Chapter. Expressing concern that atrocities against women are on the rise, Gogoi said such incidents must be brought to an end through concerted efforts. Gogoi said that the state government has given more thrust on women empowerment and has made 30% reservation of jobs in government for women. “Assam is the first state in the country to have 30% job reservation for women. Now other states are emulating us,” he added. Stating through capacity building, skill development and vocational training, women can be empowered socially and economically, the Chief Minister said more and more girls are pursuing education and that augurs well for the state and the country. “It’s good to see a sizeable section of girls pursuing education in universities, polytechnics, engineering, medical and other institutions. The demand for girls’ hostels is more than boys. And this augurs well for the state and the country as a whole,” he said. Gogoi also said education without empowering women is meaningless and that the Government has given thrust on capacity building, entrepreneurship training and skill development. The Chief Minister appreciated the endeavour of FLO, North East Chapter for espousing the cause of women and giving them the recognition they so richly deserve. “A little bit of encouragement and appreciation does wonders and inspires and motivates one in the field to work with greater zeal and vigour,” he said. The Chief Minister presented Tongam Rina, a journalist from Arunachal Pradesh who braved terrorists’ bullets, G Lalthanzami from Mizoram who saves women from domestic abuse, Birubala Rabha from Assam who spearheads a campaign against witch-hunting, Meena Debbarma, a young actress from Tripura who fights for tribal rights and Rupshika Borah from Assam, who is the first ever woman director of OIL with Women Achievers of North East Award for the year 2014-15.Also Read: Expat women’s take on India: Travel can be a nightmare

New facts in Dimapur lynching: Khan from military family, not ‘Bangladeshi illegal’

Syed Sharif Khan was dragged out of a Dimapur prison, paraded naked and then beaten and stoned and killed by a mob which believed he was an ‘Illegal Bangladeshi Immigrant’ who raped a Naga college student. However, it now turns out that not only was Khan an Indian but he hailed from a family of army men and had moved to Nagaland from Assam after marrying a Naga woman.

“We are sons of the soil. We can’t be Bangladeshis just because we are Bengali Muslims,” Nasiruddin, Khan’s brother, told the Times of India.

According to his brother Suberuddin, Khan was one of nine children and three of his brothers served in the Indian Army. One of his brothers died while in service, while two others are still serving, Suberuddin was quoted as saying in an Indian Express report.

Protests in Assam over the lynching. PTI imageProtests in Assam over the lynching. PTI image

Protests in Assam over the lynching. PTI image

“Our eldest brother who was in the Army died while in service, while two brothers, Syed Jamal Khan and Syed Kamal Khan, are with the Assam Regiment,” he said.

According to a Hindustan Times report, his slain brother Imanuddin had been killed in the Kargil war and local police officials told the newspaper that the Khan family were Bengali-speaking Muslims who had been living in the state for generations.

Even his father had served and retired from the Military Engineering Services for 20 years.  According to his brother in the army, Khan had set up shops for two other brothers in Dimapur, where he sold second-hand cars.

Khan had been arrested on charges of raping a woman and had been remanded to judicial custody. However, an angry mob had raided the Dimapur district jail on 5 March and after taking him out paraded him naked, beat him, stoned him and dragged him a distance of 7 km which resulted in his death.

His body was brought to his native Bosla village in Badarpur of Assam’s Karimganj district on Saturday even as Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi controversially claimed in a television interview that the Nagaland government needed to prove the facts since he had received an “unofficial medical report” that there was no evidence of rape.

Khan’s family has also claimed that he was framed and the girl was known to them and had demanded some money from him, a claim that unnamed home ministry sources also corroborated to the Hindustan Times. The girl, meanwhile, told a TV channel that the accused gave her money to remain silent about the incident.

Khan’s brother, Nasiruddin, who lived with him in Dimapur has said that his brother led a happy family life and the complainant was his wife’s cousin.  Nasiruddin alleged that Khan had gone with the victim and her friend to attend a party on 23 February and the police had come the next day to arrest him based on the complaint filed by the girl.

He also alleged the victim had sought money which Khan’s wife had refused to pay and blamed social media outrage over the incident for the lynching, according to the Times of India report.

The incident has sparked protests in Assam with truckers refusing to ply to Nagaland over the issue and the Assam government increasing security and telling senior police officials to provide security to people from Nagaland in the state and ensuring the safety of travellers, the Hindu reported.

The Nagaland government, that has instituted a judicial inquiry into the incident, and kept paramilitary forces on standby to instill a sense of security among non-Naga communities of the state but there has been no flag march.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang and asked him to ensure safety and security of people and take steps to maintain law and order. He also told Zeliang that strictest action should be taken against those involved in the lynching of Khan.

Assam chief minister Gogoi had written to Singh and Zeliang seeking security measures to protect people from his state.

In his letter to Singh, he wrote, “Attacks on people of a particular community, especially to those belonging to minority, can have widespread repercussion in Assam, which has a huge population of Muslims.”

Zeliang responded to Gogoi’s letter yesterday assuring him of all possible steps to ensure safety and security of people from Assam living in Nagaland.

The Nagaland Cabinet had suspended Deputy Commissioner Wezope Kenye, SP Meren Jamir and B. Chuba Phom, Senior Superintendent of Central Jail, for “their failure to control the situation”.

While local police officials have claimed that a mob consisting of students and women raided the jail and tied their hands, doubts have also been raised over the involvement of prison staff in aiding the protesters since it turns out that all other inmates are still in jail.

Shocker in Dimapur lynching: Gogoi claims medical reports show ‘no rape’

In a shocking twist to the Nagaland lynching case, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday said that ‘unconfirmed medical reports’ show that the complainant in the case was not raped.

Speaking to NDTV, Gogoi said, “it is up to the Nagaland government to come out with the facts. We have received an unofficial report of no rape.” The chief minister further said that the accused Syed Khan was not an illegal immigrant and was a citizen of India.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTIAssam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTI

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTI

Moreover, the brother of the accused, Jamal Uddin Khan, corroborated Gogoi’s remarks, saying his brother had been made a scapegoat in the case and that the police was hand-in-glove with certain Naga groups.

“Is the Nagaland government running a jungle raj? The girl who filed the rape complaint was my brother’s wife’s cousin. Nagaland police have said that the medical reports say she was not raped,” Jamal Khan told NDTV, adding that several of his family members were working in the country’s armed forces and they were all Indian.

The victim, however, said she was given money by the accused after the assault to remain silent. “Rumours that I did this for money are false. The police arrested him the very same day. I did not think he would be attacked like this,” she said.

Khan had been arrested on the suspicion of raping a woman in Dimapur on 24 February and remanded to judicial custody in Dimapur Central Jail the following day.

On 5 March, a mob broke into the jail, dragged him out, stripped him naked, beat him up, pelted him with stones and dragged him towards the centre of Dimapur town, seven kilometres away. On the way he succumbed to his injuries after which the mob dragged the body to a clock tower and displayed it.

Earlier today, Gogoi had said that the security at Dimapur Central Jail, from where the rape accused was dragged out and lynched by a mob, was under central security forces who failed to stop the lynching.

“The security in the jail was under central security forces who failed to stop the lynching. It is the Centre who is responsible for ensuring the security of the inmates,” the chief minister said.

Gogoi said he has written to his Nagaland counterpart TR Zeliang to ensure the safety and security of Assamese people in the neighbouring state. The accused, Syed Farid Khan, hailed from Bosla village in Badarpur of Karimganj district of Assam. Zeliang has assured him that all measures would be taken to provide security to their lives and property, the Assam CM said.

Gogoi has also written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to ensure that proper action was taken against those responsible for the lynching of the rape accused.

The CM further urged Governor PB Acharya, who is also the Nagaland Governor, to take necessary action to ensure that the guilty were booked and punished.

“The suspension of the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police by the Nagaland government was itself an admission of the fact that there was lapse on the part of the administration,” he said.

The chief minister said that no one could take law unto their hands, however condemnable the crime of the accused maybe and stern action must be taken against those involved in the ‘heinous crime.’

“Whatever the family wants, we will abide by it and the body is expected to arrive in Badarpur this evening,” he said.

Protests against the lynching were reported from different parts of the state, including Karimganj, and a strict vigil was being maintained to prevent any untoward incident.

The Nagaland government has instituted a judicial probe into the incident and suspended three top official of the district – the deputy commissioner, superintendent of police and jail superintendent – for their failure to handle the situation.

With agency inputs

Growing religious intolerance due to passive role of Modi govt: Gogoi

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government of playing a “passive” role against growing religious intolerance.

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi. PTI

“Growing religious intolerance even at the heart of India’s capital is due to the passive role played by the Modi-led NDA Government,” Gogoi tweeted on Friday.

Such passive role will not only hamper national integration but also economic development, he added.

The Chief Minister was reacting to the recent attacks on Churches in Delhi and the NDA-led government’s alleged “inaction and silence” on the issue.

PTI

Explosives found in railway station at Guwahati

Representational image.

A huge quantity of gelatin sticks and cordex wires were recovered from an unclaimed bag by the GRPF in Guwahati Railway Station tonight on the eve of the 19th National Youth Festival beginning here tomorrow.During routine patrolling the bag containing 106 gelatin sticks and six wire rolls was noticed in platform number three by the security personnel, said GRPF sources. (an official in the GRPF office in the railway station)To which militant outfit the explosives belonged or who was carrying them was not immediately known as investigations were on, the sources said.Security measures have been intensified in the railway stations and the city where nearly 5000 youths from across the country have congregate to showcase their talent in the field of art and culture at the Festival, police said.At the opening ceremony of the Festival, organised by the union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in collaboration with the state government, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is scheduled to be the chief guest and union youth Affairs and Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will preside over the ceremony.

Situation in four districts improving fast: Assam CM Tarun Gogoi

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday said overall situation in Kokrajhar, Sonitpur, Chirang and Udalguri districts is improving fast following serial attacks and thousands of inmates are returning to their homes from relief camps.”The overall situation is fast improving and it is returning to normalcy. People are going back to their homes,” Gogoi told a press conference here. Gogoi said three persons are still missing since the attack took place on December 23.”As of total dead is 81 and three persons are still missing. Security persons are continuing their operations to nab the culprits,” Gogoi said. Out of the 81 dead, 66 are Adivasis, 13 Bodos and 2 are Bengalis, Assam State Disaster Management Authority said. Over 25,000 refugees hit by NDFB(S) violence in Assam have returned to their homes since yesterday as 13 relief camps were closed with improvement in the situation though more than 1.8 lakh people are still lodged in these temporary shelters.A total of 102 police cases have been filed in different places and 64 persons have been arrested. Out of these cases, the state government has handed over four cases to NIA.