Ruling out discussion on the sovereignty demand of ULFA, the Assam government on Monday said it was ready for talks with the militant group even without its elusive ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Barua.

“Sovereignty is non-negotiable and at the same time we are trying to rope in more leaders of ULFA to start the peace process. We are not going to wait indefinitely for anyone,” Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters here in an indirect reference to Barua and his opposition to the talks.

Urging a forum comprising intellectuals to reconsider their stand on sovereignty, he pointed out the ULFA also is not sure about the grounds for talks.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made it clear in his first meeting with the ULFA-appointed Peoples Consultative Group (PCG) that sovereignty cannot be discussed,” he said.

Mr. Gogoi described as prize catch the arrest of NDFB ’chairman’ Ranjan Daimary, saying he was directly involved in the October 30, 2008 bomb blast in Guwahati which claimed 92 lives.

“It is a good sign that top NDFB and ULFA leaders are arrested and they have expressed willingness to enter into negotiation,” he said.

Keywords: ULFATarun Gogoi