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Cong strikes at AGP past
- Govt waves old governor report as Ulfa link proof

Guwahati, Aug. 31: The Tarun Gogoi government today presented a 1990 Raj Bhavan report as “documentary evidence” of the AGP’s alleged links with the Ulfa even as the regional party threatened to drag AICC leader Digvijay Singh to court for suggesting that Prafulla Kumar Mahanta was sidelined at the outlawed group’s behest.

Quoting from the 1990 report, compiled by then governor Debidas Thakur, government spokesperson Ripun Bora said Mahanta backed out from declaring Upper Assam a “disturbed area” when he was the chief minister because his party and cabinet did not favour it.

This, Bora contended, was evidence of the AGP’s nexus with the Ulfa. He said Mahanta had planned an all-out offensive against the Ulfa, but his party’s will prevailed.

The government spokes-person said some arrested Ulfa leaders had told the police that their organisation supported the AGP in the 1996 Assembly elections. He said in February that year, the AGP requested the Ulfa to support its election campaign.

He quoted from an old newspaper report, which claimed that the late Nagen Sarma, who was then a minister, struck a deal with the Ulfa on the AGP’s behalf.

On the AGP’s allegation that some Congress leaders actually had links with the Ulfa, Bora said the party should substantiate it in public.

The war of words between the two sides was triggered by Singh’s remark that Mahanta had been debarred from holding any post in the AGP at the behest of the Ulfa.

AGP leader Zoii Nath Sarmah said the party would drag the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister to court if he failed to prove his allegation. The AGP yesterday said the Congress returned to power in 2001 with the Ulfa’s help. It described the Gogoi ministry as an ISI “stooge”.

Countering the allegation, Bora said 107 members of pro-ISI groups such as the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and the Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam had been arrested since the Congress government assumed office.

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