Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said he gave no importance to the reported presence of Maoist leader Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji in Assam.

“I don’t give importance to the presence of Kishenji in Assam. Maoist activities are taking place even without him here. In fact, if he is moving around in my state it is good for me ...I can catch him,” Mr. Gogoi said responding to reporters queries about the reported presence of Kishenji in Assam.

“When he works underground then it is a matter of concern for me,” he said.

Asked if the ULFA were the ‘big brothers’ of Maoists, Mr. Gogoi said, “they are in the same boat.”

Media reports had claimed that the most wanted Maoist leader had sneaked into Assam a few ago and was believed to be in Bongaigaon or Kokrajhar district to establish bases of the rebel group in the north-east region.

Mr. Gogoi also said that the prime minister had been impressed upon not to withdraw the special Naxalite area development schemes from Assam in view of the improvement in law and order as the backward areas with poor communication and inter-state borders were breeding grounds for militants.