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Gogoi takes credit for peaceful poll

Written by: Staff
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Guwahati, Apr 4 (UNI) Asom Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today claimed that the peaceful elections in the first phase of polls yesterday was made possible by the congenial atmosphere created by his government.

''This is because of the peaceful and congenial atmosphere we have created. But we do give credit to the insurgent groups for not disturbing elections as well as voters for coming out in large numbers,'' he said while addressing a news conference. Polls have been conducted in 65 constituencies in the state.

''It is an unprecedented peaceful poll and in my political life, I have not seen such a peaceful poll,'' Mr Gogoi said, pointing out that not a single incident of violence took place yesterday.

He, however, launched a scathing attack on the BJP and the party- -in-charge Pramod Mahajan.

''The BJP is a party of hypocrites. When they were in power, they never gave any importance to the state. Mr Advani was the Home minister and he never bothered to tour Asom when it was reeling under flood. Today they accuse the Prime Minister of defending Bangladeshis. It was Mr Vajpayee himself, who mooted the idea of work permit. It was we who opposed it,'' Mr Gogoi said.

The Chief Minister said Congress would retain power and the indication of the first phase of polls confirmed that the party would win absolute majority. ''It is now crystal clear,'' he said.

He also lauded the Election Commission (EC) for ensuring a free and fair election. ''The security deployment was good and people of Asom have once again demonstrated that they love peace,'' he said.

He further defended the amendment to the Foreigner's Act, saying that it was done to protect the genuine Indian citizens from harassment.

UNI MT SP PC SC DS1351

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