REMOVAL OF TARUN GOGOI’S NSG COVER
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Dec 16: Coming down heavily on the BJP governments both at the Centre and in the State for removing his NSG cover, former State Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi alleged that the present government at Dispur knows very well about this move, but is now pretending that it does not know anything about it.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, Gogoi said, “How (PK) Mahanta (of the AGP), is getting his NSG cover when mine was removed. The reason: Mahanta is a partner of the BJP-led coalition government in the State. Isn’t it? Mahanta criticizes the BJP government only on one issue – Hindu Bangladeshi issue, but I criticize it on several issues,” adding, “the removal of my NSG cover is a political vendetta of the BJP.”
The NSG cover provided to Gogoi has been withdrawn by the Union Home Ministry after reviewing the security provided to him.
Besides AGP leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who is still enjoying the NSG cover, Tarun Gogoi was the second political figure in Assam who got NSG cover for his security.
“If no views were taken by the Centre from the State government on my NSG cover removal issue, it simply means that the Central Government doesn’t give any value to the State government,” added Gogoi.
When asked as to why he was protesting the decision of the Home Ministry because he once as a chief minister decided to withdraw Mahanta’s NSG cover, Gogoi said, “I decided to do it after 10 years, but my NSG cover was withdrawn after 6 months of the BJP government’s coming to power in the State,” adding, “it’s now being publicized that I have refused to take NSG cover, but I didn’t say it.”
On the rhino poaching issue, the former chief minister said, “In this year so far 16 rhinos were poached in the State, but nobody is saying anything against the government. During my tenure, when a rhino was killed, people vigorously condemned me and Rockybul Hussain.”
Gogoi said, “I heard that RSS leaders sit in the Chief Minister’s office and they even attend different government meetings,” adding, “on one hand, the BJP is planning to bring Hindu-Bangladeshis to India and on the other, it organizes meeting on constitutiol safeguards of Assam at a five star hotel. The party is not concerned over the real cause, but instead promoting a five star culture.”
On the State government’s decision to advance the date of budget presentation, he said, “I haven’t seen such things before. In general practice, the State Budget is presented after the presentation of the Union Budget.”