Dissidence in ruling Congress dominate Assam politics in 2013

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Guwahati, Dec 22: Dissidence in the ruling Congress, rise in kidnapping and extortions, violence following statehood demand by ethnic groups and unabated killing of rhinos were some of the major issues in Assam during 2013.

The state's political scenario was dominated by dissident activities by more than 30 Congress MLAs who were allegedly dissatisfied with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's style of functioning and also of certain senior ministers and demanded a cabinet reshuffle.

The year-long rift was ostensibly buried on October 19 when Gogoi convened a special sitting of the Congress Legislature Party and all party MLAs agreed to put aside their differences and work unitedly for next year's Lok Sabha polls.

The state, with a history of more than three decades of insurgency, witnessed relatively less incidents of violence with the two major group -- ULFA led by Arabinda Rajkhowa and NDFB led by Ranjan Daimary coming to the negotiating table but their splinter groups continued with their unlawful activities.

ULFA (Independent) and NDFB (Songbijit) stepped up extortion activities and the latter resorted to kidnappings, including the abduction of NHPC General Manager Anil Kumar Agarwala among others.

ULFA (Independent) and NDFB (Songbijit) stepped up extortion activities

NDFB led by Daimary, who was released on bail in June, entered into a tripartite suspension of operation agreement with the Centre and state government in November wherein it was agreed that there will be no operation for the next six months from both sides.

Periodic talks were held between the pro-talk ULFA and Centre during the year but no major breakthrough or decision was arrived at. The announcement of creation of Telangana brought to fore long-standing demands by four ethnic groups for separate states to be carved out of Assam with large-scale violence and agitation erupting in the state.

Bodos, Karbi, Dimasas and Koch-Rajbongshis demanded separate states and the hill district of Karbi Anglong witnessed long drawn violence over the issue whereas several organisations of the other ethnic communities resorted to strikes and bandhs bringing normal life to standstill in the affected areas.


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