Assam Congress to deny tickets to charge sheeted leaders

June 8th, 2008 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, June 8 (IANS) The Assam Congress party Sunday decided not to allot tickets to fight elections to those against whom charge sheets have been filed in a criminal or corruption case. “Chief minister Tarun Gogoi has made it very clear that anybody against whom charge sheets are filed would not be given party tickets to contest elections,” Assam health minister and government spokesman Himanta Biswa Sarma told journalists here.

“This is to ensure that the party (Congress) maintains its clean image and is able to check tainted people from getting elected on the party symbol.”

The decision comes in the wake of the arrest of state education minister Ripun Bora by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on bribery charges in New Delhi Tuesday.

Bora was dropped from the Assam cabinet hours after his arrest and on Saturday he was suspended from the Congress party.

“The prompt action taken by the chief minister in dropping Bora and the party’s decision to suspend him even before he was charge sheeted should be an eye opener for other political parties,” Sarma said.

The opposition parties in Assam are up in arms demanding the resignation of the chief minister after the CBI arrested Bora for allegedly trying to bribe an investigating officer Rs.1 million. Bora was being investigated for the murder in 2000 of a young Congress leader Daniel Topno.

Bora was remanded to judicial custody till June 21.

“The opposition parties before demanding the resignation of the chief minister should see what the past record in such cases was. There are several leaders in the AGP (Asom Gana Parishad) against whom charge sheets were filed and they still continue to hold key positions in the party,” the minister said.

“With the chief minister taking action against tainted leaders even before they have been charge sheeted, is a trend that should be followed by the opposition parties as well,” Sarma said.

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