Guwahati: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said BJP leader LK Advani while commenting on the violence in Assam must have forgotten that he was the home minister and deputy prime minister when the Godhra riots took place.
“He has been accusing us for delay in containing the violence. He forgot that when he was the home minister and the deputy prime minister, Godhra riots took place in Gujarat,” Gogoi told reporters in Guwahati.
“He forgot how long those riots continued. They started in February 2002 and continued till mid-June,” he said.
He said Advani had praised Modi though over 1,000 people died in the 2002 riots.
“He is not blaming Narendra Modi…Here we contained the violence within four days. Even then he found fault with us…It appears that he wants to play politics, a divisive role and communal politics,” the chief minister said. Advani had on Tuesday said the government’s “inaction” in dealing with the problem of infiltrators has resulted in indigenous communities feeling threatened.
“Today’s situation has arisen firstly because of criminal delay in dealing with the situation when symptoms were already there,” he had said.
On Advani’s comment that Assam could turn into another Kashmir, Gogoi said, “Assam will never turn into Kashmir. In Assam, all Indian citizens will stay and nobody will leave.”
The chief minister said there was no hand of illegal immigrants in the violence and asked the BJP to prove its claim.
“The incidents were not a handiwork of illegal migrants …I can prove that… Let them also prove it,” he said.
Accusing Advani of having “double standards”, Gogoi said the BJP-led NDA government took no action against illegal infiltrators when it was in power at the Centre.
“He did not take any steps when he was the home minister …Now we are taking lot of steps including increasing the number of border outposts, floodlighting the border and riverine police,” the chief minister said.
He also said former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had announced a plan to give work permit to foreigners.
“Earlier no political party or organisation showed any interest in the National Register of Citizens, neither the Asom Gana Parishad nor the BJP. It is during my tenure that I took the initiative of preparing an NRC in 2008,” Gogoi said.
In a lighter vein, he said, “The All India United Democratic Front wants my resignation and BJP also wants my resignation. I cannot understand how they share such similar views. I find it strange that AIUDF leader Badruddin Ajmal and Advani has such similarity of opinion.”
Terming Assam as a “complicated state”, he said the aim of the government was to reconcile all communities.
“It is a fact that there is some conflict. Conflict has been there in the whole state because of the problem of land, identity crises, language and employment opportunities.
“Bodos have grievances. Others also have grievances. We have to look at addressing grievances of all,” Gogoi said.