Assam CM Issues Show-cause Notice to Minister Sanjay Kishan for Apologising to ULFA-I Chief

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has sent a show-cause notice to Tea Tribes and Employment Minister Sanjay Kishan for tendering an apology to banned rebel group United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I) chief Paresh Baruah.

Sources from the Chief Minister Office (CMO) confirmed the matter and said that CM Sarma asked Kishan to respond as to why he had apologized to the ULFA-I chief Baruah.

Sanjay Kishan was participating in education department program ‘gunutsava’ in Nagaon district on May 13, when media persons asked him about the recent activities of ULFA-I. In response, Kishan called Paresh Barua a ‘liar’.

The group took offence and sent an email to News18, threatening to boycott the minister from Tinsukia and Dibrugarh and demanded an apology within 24 hours.

Kishan had reportedly said that ULFA-I chief Paresh Baruah was lying that Biju Gogoi, a cadre of the group, had committed suicide in their camp.

The minister publicly apologised on May 15 in Tinsukia, after the rebel group gave him a 24-hour ultimatum to apologise for allegedly calling its chief a liar.

“Our Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is trying to create an atmosphere to bring ULFA (I) to the negotiating table to establish peace in Assam. And I don’t want that atmosphere to be disturbed. I just talked about some youths joining ULFA and if my comment hit the sentiment of Paresh Baruah in any way, I seek apology for that,” Kishan had said.

After the showcase notice issued by Chief Minister, the opposition parties raised their demands to drop minister Kishan from the ministry.

Talking to News18, senior Congress MLA cum working president of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) said, “It’s not acceptable from a cabinet minister, who had bow down to a banned insurgent group. Chief Minister should drop him from the ministry and should take strong action. It’s matter of serious towards the sovereignty of the country.”

Congress MLA Abdur Rashid Mandal claimed that minister Kishan has a well-understanding with the banned insurgent group ULFA-I. Mandal, asking for Kishan to be removed from the cabinet, said, “a criminal case should be filed against Sanjoy Kishan.”

The other opposition party, AIUDF, also condemned the statements of the cabinet minister and appealed to the chief minister to take strong action against the said minister. AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam called for legal action against the minister.

Sanjoy Kishan was elected to the Assam Legislative Assembly election in 2016, representing the Tinsukia constituency. He became a minister of state in Sarbananda Sonowal’s ministry, and is currently a cabinet minister in Himanta Biswa Sarma’s ministry.

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