BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Nov 9: Days after his idea of a "grand alliance" was rejected by other political parties, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today proposed a "grand understanding" instead and said that the Congress will unite with secular forces in the State to defeat the "commul" BJP in next year's assembly elections.
Addressing a press conference here, Gogoi said the Congress is ready to work with all secular forces, like the Communist parties, AGP, AIUDF and BPF to ensure defeat of the BJP.
He, however, clarified that there will be no pre-poll pact with any party.
"There will be no pre-poll grand alliance in Assam, but there can be 'grand understanding'. The Congress will contest the Assam polls solo but we will work with secular parties to defeat commul forces," he said.
Having led the Congress to three successive victories in the State, Gogoi said he is confident of the party retaining power at Dispur next year.
"In Assam, the Congress can contest and win on its own. In Bihar, the situation is bit different. All parties contested in alliances even earlier," he said.
Gogoi said Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad will campaign for the Congress in the State Assembly polls.
The three-time CM maintained that the BJP has done grave injustice to Assam and the Northeastern States by curbing special status and said he will sit on a dhar, if necessary, to restore this privilege for the region.
He added that the 90:10 funding pattern for the State has been restored due to his persistence.
The special investment and industrial promotion policy for NE has remained suspended for the region 18 months now, Gogoi pointed out.
"We want action from Modi, not mere show of sympathy," Gogoi said.
He emphasized on the need for the eastern India states, including the Northeast, to unite and put pressure on the Centre for addressing their problems.
Gogoi appealed to the chief ministers of eastern states like Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and the NE states to come together on a common platform to pursue issues pertaining to the region.
He said he would take up the matter with all the chief ministers so that everyone can be brought on a joint platform for better development of the region.
"Eastern India is still underdeveloped. The states located in the eastern part of the country hardly get any importance at the tiol level and so it is important for all of us to take up the issues jointly to achieve the goals," he said.