New Delhi/Dispur, Dec.3 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said here on Thursday that the UPA Government would need to take the nation into confidence before arriving at any deal with the leaders of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).
"Parliament is on. We'll expect the government to take the parliament and the nation into confidence. What talks are being done and on what conditions and ultimately what is more important is that earlier action was taken against ULFA in Bhutan during the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) regime. Talks on what conditions, as far as we are concerned, we are very clear and categorical. Assam is an integral part of India and there should be no compromises as far as India's territorial integrity is concerned," said Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, however, chose to adopt the middle path on the issue of talks with ULFA and the arrest of its leader Arabinda Rajkhowa.
Addressing the press conference in Dispur, the state capital, Gogoi said: "I will neither deny nor confirm the arrest of Rajkhowa," and added he is "expecting positive signals over the talks."
"In the morning Home Minster Chidambaram spoke to me, but he neither he mentioned the issue nor I asked for more details, "he added.
"My government has no problem in holding talks with any one. If he (ULFA leader) comes, its well and good, otherwise we will initiate the dialogue with whoever comes forward," Gogoi added.
He also said that the people of Assam are looking for more peaceful days. Youth and students of the state are waiting for a healthy and peaceful atmosphere to exist, he added.
"You will get good news in about one week. We are moving in the right direction, some development has taken place," said Gogoi.
Earlier, in the day a person claiming to be ULFA chairman Rajkhowa gave an interview to a private news channel and said: "I am speaking to you from the same location in Bangladesh from where I normally speak from. Those who say that I have been arrested are deliberately trying to create confusion. They want to derail the peace process in Assam even before it can begin."
They (people opposing him) don't want a political and peaceful solution to the problem. Such people don't want to take the peace process to succeed. Every time we want to take the peace process forward such people spread wrong information," he added.
On Wednesday, replying to a short duration debate on internal security in the Rajya Sabha Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said: "Government will talk to any organization including ULFA if the abjure violence."
Chidambaram had hinted earlier this week that the ULFA could open talks with the government 'very soon'.
The ULFA is among more than two dozen armed groups in India's northeast that are either fighting for an independent homeland or more political autonomy.
These outfits have accuse New Delhi of plundering the region's mineral and forest resources but neglecting the local economy and giving them back nothing in return. (ANI)