Gogoi should take Himanta's help for ULFA talk: Amar Singh

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Guwahati, May 03 (UNI) Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh today advised Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to take the service of his Health Minister to initiate peace process with the ULFA.

''I simply do not understand why Mr Gogoi is looking for contacts to open negotiations with the ULFA when he has right men within the cabinet. Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma is the de facto Chief Minister of Assam and his links with the ULFA should be used to initiate the peace process,'' Mr Singh said, taking a dig at Congress's alleged links with the banned outfit.

Regarding Dr Sarma's old police cases where he was charged with colluding with the ULFA to extort money from state government officials, Mr Singh said, ''without politicising the issue, the law should be allowed to take its own course. The case diary of the infamous case was missing for so long because of which trial could not proceed. That can be reconstructed,'' he said.

Dr Sarma had been facing these charges for a long time and reacting to that he said, ''every time there is nothing they will use the same charges. But I have not only been cleared by Gauhati High Court but also by the Supreme Court. People know the fact that these politicians cannot take us on development issues,'' he added.

However Mr Singh said the ULFA peace process should be opened 'at any cost'. ''If there can be discussion with Naxals what is the harm in having talks with the ULFA,'' he asked.

Meanwhile in a statement, ULFA's latest mouthpiece urged the civic society to play a more assertive role in starting negotiation with the Union government. In an e-mailed statement yesterday, the ULFA favoured ''people's diplomacy'' to broker peace and pressurised the Centre for initiating talks.

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