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New government should solve Assam’s ‘identity crisis’: ULFA

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New Delhi, May 19 : As the BJP created history in Assam and is set to form its maiden government in the northeast, the pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has said the new government should resolve the state’s “identity crisis on a priority basis”.

The faction, which is in peace negotiations with the central government since 2010, has also sought that the new government should complete the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which it says is “the only feasible solution to the illegal migrants issue, which has led to much bloodshed in the state”.

“Among the major expectations are the faster update of the NRC, which makes things clear about who are the illegal migrants in the state. Another expectation is that the government should certainly help in sealing an accord between the ULFA and the Indian government,” Sashadhar Chaudhury, a senior cadre of the ULFA faction that favours talks with the govenrment, told.

Referring to the 15 years of Tarun Gogoi-led Congress rule in the state, Chaudhury, who was formerly part of the underground movement, said: “People wanted change and to get rid of the Bangladeshi-based politics in Assam, which the new government should take care of.”

The first phase of the ambitious NRC updating process was completed some years ago, and the second one has begun. The process involves upgrading the register of 1951 by enlisting names of “genuine” Indian citizens, one of the key decisions of the tripartite talk among the Centre, the Assam government and All Assam Students Union (AASU) during the signing of Assam Accord in 1985.

“People want a government of our own people, and once the NRC comes, it will segregate the Bangladeshis from Assam,” Chaudhury told.

During its election campaign, the BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, had reiterated that if the party came to power it would seal the India-Bangladesh border and tackle the issue of illegal immigrants.

Arabinda Rajkhowa, former chairman of ULFA and now the main leader of the pro-talks faction, told: “Assam faces an identity crisis. The new government has to understand that they have been given the mandate to resolve the problem in the state that has prevailed for some time now.”

“In comparison to the Gogoi regime, the new government will have to work more for the existing social problems of Assam. They have to understand that the only reason they have got the mandate is because people have faith in them, and the new government has to deliver,” Rajkhowa told over phone from Assam.

Asked if the ULFA group would try to invite Paresh Baruah for the peace negotiations through the new government, he said: “We can’t say anything about it. The only benefit we will get through the new government is that unlike earlier, it will be smooth for us to negotiates as the BJP is both in the state and the Centre.”

Raju Baruah, former deputy commander-in-chief of the underground ULFA and now part of the group’s pro-talks faction, said that the negotiations are likely to sail smoothly.

“The hurdles we were facing earlier will vanish, and an accord between the ULFA and government will soon be a reality,” Baruah told.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, in alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People’s Front(BPF), has gained majority in the Assam assembly polls.

India

Congress steps up attack on Yogi Adityanath govt

Punia alleged that UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said in an interview to a TV channel that migrant workers were responsible for spreading the corona infection.

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PL Punia Congress

Lucknow, May 26 : The Congress has stepped up its attack on the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, accusing it of putting out fake statistics regarding coronavirus cases and also spreading communal hatred.

Senior Congress leader P L Punia, while addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, said that UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu had been sent to jail only because he was helping the migrant workers.

“No one is being allowed to meet the UPCC president and the Congress will not tolerate this injustice,” he said.

Punia alleged that UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said in an interview to a TV channel that migrant workers were responsible for spreading the corona infection.

Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Aradhana Mishra said that the Yogi government had claimed that 25 lakh migrant workers had returned to UP.

“The government has said that the number of infected persons is 6228 so how can they claim that the 25 lakh migrant workers have brought the infection to UP? The chief minister should explain the basis of his claim,” she said.

Mishra demanded that the state government should come clean on the number of patients, testing figures and preparations made for corona.

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India

Arrest of UP Cong chief undemocratic: Priyanka Gandhi

He was arrested in a case of fraud and forgery, related to bungling in list of buses submitted by the Congress to the UP government for bringing migrant workers.

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Priyanka Gandhi Election

New Delhi, May 26 : Amid the political slugfest over migrant workers and arrest of UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, here on Tuesday, termed his arrest undemocratic and violation of humanitarian principle, and demanded that he be released immediately.

“Throwing him into prison on baseless charges during a pandemic reveals the undemocratic and opportunistic mindset of the Yogi government and violates all humanitarian principles,” Priyanka Gandhi tweeted.

“We demand justice for him and will continue to fight until it’s delivered,” she said and also tweeted a video clip showing Lallu providing help to migrants.

“Having lived a life of struggle, perseverance and grit, the UP Congress chief knows well the suffering of displaced and marginalised people. He has fought for them steadfastly throughout his career,” tweeted Priyanka.

Lallu was arrested soon after he was granted bail in another case in Agra on Wednesday. Earlier, he had been arrested in Agra on Tuesday for protesting against the government’s refusal to allow movement of buses in the state.

He was arrested in a case of fraud and forgery, related to bungling in list of buses submitted by the Congress to the UP government for bringing migrant workers.

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India

My statement on Maharashtra was distorted, says Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul Gandhi Video Conf

New Delhi, May 27 : After creating a political stir by saying his party is not the key player in Maharashtra, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has claimed that his statement was “distorted”.

In a late Tuesday night tweet along with the video, the former Congress president said “paid media distorts the truth to distract attention from real issues”.

“I would like to make a differentiation here. We are supporting the government in Maharashtra, but, we are not the key decision maker in Maharashtra. We are the key decision maker in Punjab we are the key decision maker in Chhattisgarh, in Rajasthan, in Puducherry. So, there is a difference between running a Government and supporting Government,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, he said that the Congress is only supporting the Maharashtra government and is not a key decision maker.

He, however, defended the Maharashtra government and said the state is one of the most connected in the country.

“It is going to be one of the most aggressive places where corona is going to act. However, Maharashtra is struggling because of the nature of its connectivity and Maharashtra is one of the most important assets frankly that India has. It is the centre of business.

“So, it requires full support from the Government of India, I fully understand that Maharashtra is fighting a very difficult battle and I appreciate that fact and so many other states and it is important that full support of the Government of India goes to the people of Maharashtra and the Government of Maharashtra,” the Congress leader said.

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