Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who has returned from a week-long visit to Vietnam and Cambodia, on Monday brushed aside criticism over his frequent foreign tours and termed them as learning experiences.
"Some people have criticised my foreign tours. Let them do it. I do not go for sight-seeing. And, anyway what kind of sightseeing can one do in Vietnam?" he asked.
He said foreign tours were intended as learning experiences.
"I go for building relations between foreign countries and the states of the North East. The Government of India has a Look East policy and ASEAN nations want better relations with us," he said.
"Even after the Vietnamese Communists fought a bloody war with the US forces, look at the kind of development that a small country has achieved now," Gogoi said, adding that he would love to take local journalists also on future tours.
On recent incidents of extortion calls received by a group of Congress party MLAs from the anti-talk faction of ULFA, Gogoi said government was looking into the matter.
"For years, ULFA has been in the business of extortion and in many cases, we find that calls have been made by fakes pretending to be ULFA cadres," he said.
Asked about the agitation launched by members of six communities over rejection of demand by Registrar General for granting them Scheduled Tribe status, Gogoi said leaders of those communities should meet concerned people and give proper justification for their demand.


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