Gogoi not to wait indefinitely for talks with ULFA

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New Delhi, June 17 (ANI): Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said that his government would not wait indefinitely to hold talks with the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).

"Our idea is to involve everybody but we have made it very clear we won't wait indefinitely, even for Paresh Baruah (commander-in-chief of ULFA) also. Even if he doesn't come for talks, we'll go for talks with the rest, but at the same time, we want that majority should come forward," Gogoi told reporters after his meeting with Home Minister P. Chidambaram here on Wednesday.

Gogoi said they would consider the demands of rebel groups only if they fall within the ambit of the Constitution of India.

He said the Home Ministry is in favour of the state's decision, and has let the provincial government have the final say on the matter.

"He (Chidambaram) has agreed. In fact, he has assured me full support or extend whatever the possible, all possible help in this process, even for bringing (to) the negotiation table other matters. He said, 'We are 100 percent with you also,'" said Gogoi.

Gogoi further said the services of Central government's interlocutor PC Halder could also be availed for the negotiations with ULFA leadership.

Earlier, he briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his government's preparedness to hold dialogue with ULFA. Earlier, on May 26, Gogoi had proposed to hold talks with all rebel groups.

The ULFA, which has accused New Delhi of ignoring its needs and polluting Assam's culture, has been battling for the independence of 26 million people in the tea- and oil-rich state since 1979.

More than 20 militant groups operate in the northeast region. (ANI)

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