Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Wednesday asked the commander-in-chief of the anti-talk faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Paresh Baruah, to join mainstream politics.
Gogoi also said he would urge the Centre to give Baruah amnesty, if he decides to respond to the offer.
Gogoi's reaction came a day after Baruah told a local newspaper (The Assam Tribune) that the political leaders of India should learn about true democracies from countries like Great Britain who dared to hold a plebiscite on the demand for separation of Scotland. Canada, he said, had taken a similar step, but leaders in India lack the courage to go for such a move.
In response, Gogoi said, "There is no need to hold plebiscite in Assam. Elections are held in Assam freely and in almost all the elections in the past, more than 70 percent of the people have participated."
"This indicates that the people of Assam feel that Assam is a part of India and also believe in the parliamentary democracy system, which is followed in Assam and other part of India."
"I appeal him to come overground and join politics and take part in the elections and prove that people of Assam support him," said Gogoi while interacting with journalists here.
"If he decides to come overground and join politics, I would urge the central government to give him amnesty. I do not know whether they would agree to this or not, but I'll urge them to give him amnesty," Gogoi said.
The chief minister also said he would be in New Delhi Friday to meet the Congress high command to discuss the issue of a cabinet reshuffle.
"There will be reshuffle within this month. I am going to New Delhi day after tomorrow to meet the party high command. The reshuffle will include filling up of the vacant portfolios in the cabinet and inclusion of news faces in the cabinet," Gogoi said.