By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, April 16: BJP leaders Atal Behari Vajpayee and Arun Shourie had guided the Assam Agitation which was sponsored by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi claimed today.
Addressing a press conference here, Gogoi said the six-year long agitation was initially launched against all outsiders but was later modified to oppose only Bangladeshi infiltrators “just to suit the RSS”.
“Everybody knows it. The Assam Agitation was funded by the RSS and guided by BJP leaders like Vajpayee and Arun Shourie. All funds for the agitation were given by the RSS,” he insisted.
The RSS, he alleged, has come to exploit the sentiments of the common people and the Congress will continue to fight such divisive forces, “whether in power or not.”
Referring to Himanta Biswa Sarma’s utterances favouring 1951 as the cut-off year for indentifying immigrants, the chief minister alleged that the RSS is trying to reopen old wounds of the Assam Agitation.
“When he (Himanta) was with me, he often used to tell me that I should press for advancing the cut-off year from 1971 to 1951. It was his hidden agenda. He used to say if I am successful, I can create history. I had asked him how can we do it? The Assam Accord had fixed March 25, 1971, as the date for detection of Bangladeshi infiltrators in the State. Even the present AASU leadership has accepted the date. Any proposal to change the date would create further conflict,” Gogoi said.
Referring to the reported surge in support for the BJP-led alliance in the just concluded assembly polls, Gogoi said he was confident of the Congress winning 65 out of total 126 seats and forming the government for the fourth straight term.
“However, if the people give us the responsibility to sit in opposition, we will fulfill that responsibility with total commitment. When we were in government, we fulfilled our responsibility. We were in opposition earlier, and even then we had done that. In a democracy, both the ruling and the opposition sides have equal responsibility,” he added.
When asked about recent incidents of encroachments by ga miscreants on the Karbi Anglong-galand border, the CM said he has asked the Chief Secretary and DGP to take steps to ensure that the State’s territory is protected.