Baruah plays regional card, justifies transition from BJP

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By OUR BUREAU in Nagaon
  • Published 24.03.04

Jorhat/Nagaon, March 24: Veteran politician Dulal Baruah today championed the regional cause, while justifying his transition from the BJP to the AGP.

Questioning the wisdom of the Bhutan operations against the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa), Baruah said the BJP tried to brand him as pro-Ulfa when he raised his voice against killing of Assamese youths in the Himalayan kingdom.

“I protested against the Bhutan operations before the Prime Minister and his deputy. I told them that violence is not the right way to solve a problem and urged them to do something through negotiation. They took this as a pro-Ulfa stand,” Baruah told the media at the AGP office in Jorhat today.

Baruah said he always supported regional causes even while representing a national party. “My heart started to bleed when Assamese youths were killed in Bhutan. I could not stop myself and raised my voice,” he said.

Baruah was denied a ticket by the BJP from the Jorhat constituency for the coming Lok Sabha polls. He joined the AGP later and was given a ticket to fight from the seat.

“I always had a soft corner for regional causes. I was the first person to form a regional party in Assam in 1969. Though the party later merged with the Janata Dal, we always fought for our regional cause,” he said.

Baruah was the founder president of All Assam Students’ Union, which was formed in 1955.

“The BJP is a party which always tries to suppress regional leaders. Once you try to raise your voice, you are sure to be showed the door,” he said.

The former state PWD minister said he was apprehensive of Bhupen Hazarika’s future in BJP. “It is only a matter of time before he leaves the party,” he said.

Baruah said he would try to promote the AGP along the lines of the Telegu Desam Party so that it could have a grasp on national politics.

Another senior AGP leader and the party’s candidate from the Kaliabor Lok Sabha constituency, Keshab Mahanta, today accused the Tarun Gogoi government of lacking the will to solve the Assam-Nagaland border dispute.

Speaking to newspersons in Bokakhat today, Mahanta alleged that a vested interest group had engineered the border tangle for its political gain and the state government was playing “a mute spectator” to it.

The Assam-Nagaland border crisis took an ugly turn last month when some Nagas allegedly threatened the border villagers of sector D to quit the area. A state government team, led jointly by ministers Rockybul Hussain and Himanta Biswa Sarma, visited the disputed area later.