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Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal (right) greeting PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal (right) greeting PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi|Twitter 
ASSAM

‘Naga talks: Interest of Assam to be considered before settlement’

PM Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah assure CM Sarbananda Sonowal; also discuss on issues related to state such as revival of paper mills and PSU status of Numaligarh Refinery

Sandeep Borah

Sandeep Borah

Guwahati: Amidst growing tension in the wake of Naga peace talks among people of the state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday held separate meetings with Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and assured him that interests and aspirations of Assamese people will be taken into consideration before taking a final decision on the entire issue.

Releasing two separate statements of meetings of the chief minister with the Prime Minister and home minister, the Assam government informed that Sonowal had a lengthy talk with both the leaders and discussed on various issues related to the state including the Naga peace talks imbroglio, Hindustan Paper Mill Corporation Limited and the Numaligarh Refinery Limited.

In his meeting with the PM, Sonowal apprised him of the prevailing situation in the state regarding the Naga peace talks.

Taking the people’s concern as priority, PM Modi assured CM Sonowal that the Union government will keep in mind the interest and aspirations of the people of Assam before coming to a final decision and signing any accord.

In an announcement made by the Central government on October 31 this year, it stated that the government will meet with all stakeholders in the states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh before coming to a final settlement.

Earlier in the day, in an elaborate talk with the home minister, Sonowal urged Amit Shah to take into account the interest of the people of Assam before moving ahead with any accord. To this, Shah assured that the government will never take any step that will go against the interest of the people of Assam.

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal (right) interacting with Union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal (right) interacting with Union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi
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Shah further pointed out to Sonowal that it has come to the government’s notice that a lot of misinformation and fake news is being spread on social media and in media houses that Naga political talks are coming to an end and will be announced soon.

The union government in a recent move has rejected one of the demands put forward by NSCN-IM regarding the unification of the Naga-inhabited areas situated in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, to which all the three Northeastern states have vehemently opposed.

Apart from the issues related to the Naga political talks, CM Sonowal also had an elaborated discussion of the revival plan of the Hindustan Paper Corporation’s Nagaon Paper Mill in Jagiroad and the Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram. Sonowal also requested Modi to initiate steps for the revival of both the mills as soon as possible.

Moving on to another important concern of the people of Assam, Sonowal sought Modi’s help over the expansion of Numaligarh Refinery Limited in Golaghat and maintaining its present status as a public sector unit. Sonowal also tried to draw the home minister’s attention to the ongoing public demand and sought cooperation to maintain the refinery’s status quo as a PSU.