Gogoi accuses AGP of playing 'infiltration politics

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Guwahati, Aug 22 (UNI) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today accused the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) of playing ''infiltration politics'' for power.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Gogoi said the former All Assam Students Union (AASU) leadership, which eventually became the AGP, had rejected an offer for 1967 to be the cut-off year for Bangladeshi deportation during the crucial negotiation with the Centre in the 80s.

Five years later, while signing the Assam Accord, the then Assam agitation leadership had settled for 1971 as the cut-off year.

''I maintain that the AASU leadership did not accept an earlier cut-off date offered by the then Home Minister Zail Singh because they were too young to fight election and once they attained that age they settled for a later date,'' he said.

The Chief Minister maintained that in all the terms when the Congress ruled the state after the Assam Accord, there was more work and effort for actual Bangladeshi deportation. ''When the AGP was in power, they washed off the hands from the Bangladeshi problem,'' he said.

Displaying an old newspaper of 1980s, Mr Gogoi sought to establish that the AASU leadership was more interested in power than seriously resolving the infiltration problem. The leadership later formed the AGP in 1985 after the Assam Accord and came to power twice since then.

Mr Gogoi targeted Mr Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, the then AASU president and later Chief Minister of Assam as well as the Chief Signatory of Assam Accord.

''I am amazed how he and his cronies could hoodwink people with all these words when actually they have never done anything to deport or detect Bangladeshis,'' he said.

The Chief Minister asserted that it was his government which had started updating the National Register of Citizens after 57 years.

''There are complex problems about the modalities but that is being ironed out. Luckily, the Prime Minister has also given consent. But the AGP did nothing for that,'' he said.

He reiterated that the Congress government would be taking every step to stop infiltration as well as legally deport all Bangladeshis but would also ensure that no Indian citizen was harassed in the name of deportation.

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