Home Minister Amit Shah authorised me to hold preliminary talks with ULFA: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma is the convenor of the NEDA, the Northeast version of the NDA where major parties of the region are constituents.
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma (Photo | PTI)
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has authorised him to hold preliminary talks with the insurgent group ULFA.

After meeting Shah here tonight, Sarma also said that he is partly involved in the ongoing peace process with the NSCN-IM but was not officially holding any negotiation with the Naga rebel group.

"I have discussed with the home minister on the issue of holding peace talks with the ULFA. He has authorised me to initiate the preliminary talks with the ULFA," he told reporters here.

The chief minister also said that if things move in a proper direction, the central government may get involved in the peace parleys with the ULFA at a later stage.

Asked about his role in the dialogue with the NSCN-IM, Sarma said he was partly involved in it but never officially engaged in the peace talks with the Naga group.

"As convenor of the NEDA, I have sometimes talked to some political parties (in Nagaland) in the past," he said.

Sarma is the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), the Northeast version of the NDA where major parties of the region are constituents.

The chief minister said he would travel to Nagaland on Tuesday as convenor of the NEDA to assess the political situation of the state after opposition parties too became part of the government.

Referring to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), he said both central and state governments are on the same page in seeking a review of the NRC in Assam.

However, a decision in this regard will be taken only by the Supreme Court as the NRC was prepared under the direct supervision of the apex court.

Replying to another question, Sarma said he has no plans to effect a reshuffle in his ministry as of now.

Sarma assumed charge as Assam chief minister on May 10.

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