Don’t call bureaucrats, Assam cabinet tells governor

February 27th, 2008 - 11:30 am ICT by admin  

Guwahati, Feb 27 (IANS) The Assam government has taken on Governor Lt. Gen. (retd) Ajai Singh once again, making it clear that the governor should not summon bureaucrats to his office for any discussion. The Assam cabinet in a resolution adopted late Tuesday expressed its “dissatisfaction” over frequent interference of the governor in the state’s functioning by calling officials for discussion to the Raj Bhawan - his official residence.

“For any discussion on matters relating to development works or progress of ongoing projects, the governor should henceforth call the chief secretary and not summon other officials,” a senior minister who attended the cabinet meeting told IANS, requesting anonymity.

The cabinet meeting said the decision was taken in accordance with the Blue Book of the state government and was not in violation of any protocol. There was no immediate comment from the Raj Bhawan.

This is not the first time Governor Singh has had a row with the government. In 2006, his public statement opposing peace talks with the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) sparked a controversy. Singh told journalists in Assam’s main city Guwahati on the eve of Republic Day in 2006 that instead of talks the rebels should surrender and join the mainstream or else face the military.

“They (ULFA) should surrender and seek rehabilitation or should face the security personnel,” the governor said.

“What is there to talk? There is nothing to be discussed with the militant groups. They use these talks to regroup and come back.”

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had criticised the governor at that time.

“We do not give much importance to the governor’s personal views on talks with the ULFA and other militancy-related issues,” said Gogoi.

Singh had earlier locked horns with the chief minister over the issue of illegal influx of Bangladeshi nationals into Assam, saying some 6,000 migrants enter the state every day.

At that time too, Gogoi had reacted sharply to the governor’s statement.

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