Rejecting demands to divide Assam, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday said all ethnic groups need to stay united.

“I am not going to divide Assam. We all need to live together. Stop bandh culture and go for work culture,” Mr. Gogoi exhorted.

“When we are one, others will fear to break us up. We may be Rabhas, Bodos, Karbis, Chutias, Gorkhas (ethnic communities) or minorities. But we all need to live together as Assamese under one umbrella in the state of Assam from Sadiya to Dhubri,” he said.

Stressing that unity and living together is a must for the state, Mr. Gogoi said at the Gyan Bikas Bota award distribution programme to meritorious students by the Thengal Kachari Autonomous Council (TKAC) in his constituency Titabor.

“With a bandh culture the rich don’t suffer but only the poor farmers and daily wage earners suffer. Stop bandh culture and go for work culture,” the chief minister gave a clarion call.

Without making a direct reference to the recent violence in Assam with different ethnic communities demanding separate states on the lines of Telangana, he pointed out that violence cannot solve problems and only through discussions and talks can things be sorted out.

“From the Assam government side we are holding talks with every body -- ULFA, NDFB, Dima Hasao Daogah and other militant groups. So even with separate state demanding parties for Kamtapur, Karbi Anglong, Bodoland, etc, we are doing the same for we need development, unity and peace under one umbrella -- Assamese,” Mr. Gogoi said.

He also said 18 autonomous councils were formed to look after respective community development activities and give more developmental thrust through various schemes. “What we are doing today for development of backward classes in Assam no state in the country can do like us”.