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Manmohan Singh refutes changes of mid-term polls

Written by: Staff
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Guwahati, Apr 1: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today negated any possibility of mid-term polls in the country.

Talking to reporters at the Gopinath Bordoloi airport here, Dr Singh claimed that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre would last its full term.

He said, '' The UPA government will definitely complete its full term. The question of going for mid-term polls does not arise.'' The Prime Minister is on a two-day visit to Asom, beginning today, to campaign for the Congress. The state goes to polls in two phases on April 3 and 10.

On charges of the Opposition against Election Commissioner Navin Chawla, Dr Singh said he had received the papers regarding the matter from the President two days back and would look into it at the earliest.

The NDA had demanded the immediate removal of Mr Chawla, alleging close ties with the Congress.

He reiterated his party's stand on insurgency and infiltration problems facing Asom.

The Prime Minister maintained that the Centre was open to dialogues with all ultra groups. He said, ''We are ready to hold talks with all militant groups if they shun the path of violence.

And if the Congress is voted back to power, the peace process will definitely gain more momentum,'' he reiterated.

Referring to the ULFA peace process, he said, '' All issues can be discussed but not necessarily accepted.'' He maintained that the issue of sovereignty does not arise as the Constitution had given adequate freedom to the states.

He added that his government was committed to maintaining peace in the region and said, ''You have a Prime Minister representing Asom to push the peace process for lasting peace, development and tranquility in the state.'' The Prime Minister, speaking on the lines of AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, said the Congress would never support illegal infiltration into the state. However, at the same time, the party would also not allow the harassment of indigenous people.

He said, ''Our party will not safeguard the infiltrators but will also not allow harassment of the indigenous people of the state at the hands of anyone.''

On the Naga peace talks, Dr Singh hoped that the vexed Naga issue would be resolved soon. Virtually rejecting the NSCN's demand for integration of all Naga inhabited in the region, the Prime Minister maintained that alteration of boundary of the states surrounding Nagaland was possible only with consent of the neighbouring states.

He said, ''No alteration of the borders can be made without the consent of the respective states.'' Refusing to comment on the Naga peace talks, he said, ''The exact nature of the talks cannot be spelled out now as it is in a critical juncture.'' Calling on the people of Asom to vote for Congress on the basis of its performance in the last five years, he said, ''Vote back the Congress for another five years to continue the good work it has started.''

He urged the youth of the state to come forward and support the Congress. He said, ''You have a Prime Minister representing Asom and I want the young people to come and explore as well as prosper to bring development to the region.''

UNI

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