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Gogoi flays land deal protest

Guwahati, Dec. 7: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today accused the AGP and the BJP of creating a ruckus over the land ratification agreement with Bangladesh with an eye on the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

In a statement issued here today, Gogoi said both the parties were opposing the land-swap deal with Bangladesh without going into the hard facts.

“The AGP and the BJP are opposing the land-transfer agreement just for the sake of opposition, to mislead the people. It’s nothing but a political hogwash,” he added.

Gogoi said the land-transfer agreement would pave the way for getting back a sizeable chunk of land in adverse possession of Bangladesh to Assam.

“Of the total 665 acres in adverse possession of Bangladesh, Assam will regain 397.5 acres while Bangladesh will get 267.5 acres. How can Assam lose out a single inch of land to Bangladesh as made out by the AGP and the BJP? It is all hogwash and a misinformation campaign unleashed by both the parties,” he said.

Gogoi alleged that neither party did anything worthwhile on the land transfer front while they were in power in the state and at the Centre.

He said the land-swap agreement would ensure demarcation and erection of fencing in the unfenced 2.86km stretch in the Lathitilla-Dumabari sector along the Indo-Bangladesh border.

“The agreement will help to solve the long-pending border issues with Bangladesh once and for all. It will also help in opening up the frontiers, leading to increase in the volume of trade and commerce,” he added.

Gogoi said all parties, cutting across political lines, should extend support to smooth passage of the land-transfer bill in the winter session of Parliament.