Two Ministers ask ex-Governor Lt. Gen (retd) S.K. Sinha, who made the charge, to name the Minister
The Assam government on Saturday denied the presence of any militant in the Tarun Gogoi’s Ministry as alleged by former Governor of the State Lt. Gen (retd) S.K. Sinha on Friday even as the as the war of words between the ruling Congress and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which was stirred by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s reported remark, as revealed by Wikileaks, that the AGP was a party of insurgents, intensified following the claim of the ex-Governor.
The former Assam Governor made the allegation on Friday while speaking to mediapersons in northern Assam town Tezpur.
He said that he would not like to name the ‘militant’ who, he alleged, was a Minister in Tarun Gogoi’s Cabinet and it was known to everyone.
Two official spokesmen in the Gogoi-government — Power and Industries Minister Pradyut Bordoloi and Environment and Forest Minister Rakibul Hussain — on Saturday refuted the allegation and asked the former Governor to specify the name of the Minister to substantiate his claim instead of creating confusion among the public.
While Lt. Gen. (retd.) Sinha said it was incorrect to say the AGP was a party of insurgents, Mr. Bordoloi alleged that the AGP and the insurgent United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) were two sides of the same coin.
Earlier on Thursday, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, while backing the Congress vice-president, alleged that the leaders of the AGP and the ULFA were cousins in the past. The former Governor, on the other hand, reportedly claimed that several counter-insurgency operations were launched against insurgent outfits such as ULFA and the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) during the AGP regime.
On Friday, former Chief Minister and present AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta demanded that both Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Gogoi tender an apology to families of 855 martyrs of the six-year-long anti-foreigners’ movement for their comments.