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Cong Puts Up A Brave Front In The Face Of ULFA Threats

GUWAHATI, Mar 27 : The ruling Congress today said the party is not scared by any threat from Paresh Baruah faction of ULFA and announced the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other important Congress leaders to the State to canvass for party leaders in the coming assembly election.

“The Congress is not scared by any threat. If Paresh Baruah (ULFA commander-in-chief) thinks he can scare the party he is wrong,” party’s election in-charge and AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh told reporters here.

Denying that Manmohan Singh had cancelled his tomorrow’s election tour to the state following the ULFA bandh, the Congress general secretary said there were certain important last-minute engagements of the prime minister for which he could not come tomorrow.

The prime minister will now visit the state on April two where he will campaign for party candidates in Lakhimpur district‘s Dhakuakana and Sonitpur district‘s Tezpur and on April seven he will hold election rallies in Barpeta and Nagaon, he said.

The Paresh Barua-led faction of the ULFA which had called for a 12-hour Assam tomorrow called it off after the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rescheduled his visit to Assam.

Bandh would, however, be observed on whichever day the prime minister or any other representative of the Union government visits the state in the future, the Paresh Baruah faction said in an email.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is also scheduled to hold election meetings in Karimganj, Bokajan and another place which was yet to be decided on March 31, Singh said.

During the second phase of the election, the Congress president will address election meetings in Dhubri and Guwahati, the dates of which will be announced soon.

While AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s program have not been fixed as he had suffered a fracture in the leg, senior party leader and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to address election meeting in Barak valley and upper Assam from March 29.

Other senior leaders including Salmaan Khursheed are also scheduled to visit the state, Singh said.

Urging Paresh Baruah to follow in the foot-steps of ULFA chairman Rajkhowa and come forward for talks, the AICC leader said violence was not good and peace should prevail.

“The Congress has fought terrorism and even lost top leaders and former Prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi at the hands of the ultras. But we have never compromised with the militants”, he said.

(Courtesy:  Press Trust of India)

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