Assam firm in protecting its territory

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Guwahati, Jul 26 (UNI) The Assam government today reiterated its opposition to any demand of sacrificing the state's territory.

''The Assam government can never compromise on the state's boundary,'' government spokesperson and Cabinet Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma said.

He was responding to reports that the UPA government was considering a demand for creation of a greater Nagalim, a demand by the Naga people residing in other states contiguous to Nagaland.

The demands referred to some territories of Assam.

The issue had cropped up again after the outer Manipur constituency MP had said during a debate on the July 22 trust vote that the UPA government had assured him of re-examining clauses in the Common Minimum Programme, including rewarding of territorial integrity to the Northern states.

Earlier, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had rejected any suggestion of parting with the state's territory.

Reaffirming Mr Gogoi's stand Dr Sharma said, ''As long as the Congress is in power in Assam, its land will never be compromised.'' He said, ''Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were 'compassionate towards Assam as Dr Singh represents the state in the Rajya Sabha.'' The minister also quoted reports, where the Manipur MP had said he had not referred to Assam's territory and added that a controversy and confusion should not be worked up over a non-issue.

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