Kokrajhar: Miffed with the attitude adopted by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi over Assam violence, the state Congress is likely to make a complaint in this regard to the Prime Minister who is scheduled to visit Assam on Saturday.

Violence in the state has claimed 45 lives so far and rendered lakhs homeless. Tarun Gogoi visited violence affected areas on Thursday exactly a week after the incident broke out. The state Congress has been extremely critical of Gogoi’s tour and held the government responsible for the entire trouble.

Gogoi blames centre for army's delayed arrival

However, Gogoi on Friday blamed the central government for sending the army late to the violence-hit districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri, where communal conflict has claimed 45 lives and left 2.9 lakh people homeless.

"We had requisitioned the army on the very first day. But it took four-five days for the forces to reach the state," Gogoi told reporters.

He clarified that there had not been any communication gap between the central and state governments. He said he had informed the home ministry and the army the very first day violence broke out between the Bodos and Bengali speaking Muslims.

"But it takes time as the forces come from various states," Gogoi said.

Muslim MPs critical of government

Several Muslim MPs, including three from Congress led by former Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha K Rahman Khan, on Friday expressed loss of confidence in the Congress government in Assam demanding central intervention to end the ethnic clashes there.

 The MPs, who met Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday, had also submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday seeking effective steps to control the situation in Assam.
    
"There is failure somewhere. We have lost confidence in state government's ability to control violence and demanded central intervention," Khan, a senior parliamentarian of Congress, told reporters after meeting Chidambaram.
    
The Muslim MPs, who met the Home Minister, included K Rahman Khan, Asrarul Haque Ashk Ali Tak (all three Congress), NCP's Tariq Anwar, Sabir Ali (JD-U), Mohammed Adeeb and Ahmed Saeed Malihabadi (Independent).
    
They said they have "never seen such kind of ethnic violence in India". "The situation is very tense and something has to be done urgently. The state government has not been able to control the situation. We have asked for central intervention," Khan said.
     
The former Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha alleged it was an ethnic clash where a large number of Muslims were killed. "The MPs also stated that they have no faith in the state government as it has totally failed in its duties to maintain the law and order," a press release from Khan's office said.

Committee formed to look into Assam violence

As ethnic violence rages in Assam, Congress on Friday made Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi the Chairman of a committee to coordinate between the party and the government in the state.
    
The party also made senior leader Bhubaneswar Kalita the Chairman of the Manifesto Implementation Committee.      

"Congress President Sonia Gandhi has approved the proposal for constituting the Coordination Committee and the Manifesto Implementation Committee for Assam," a statement issued by AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.
     
Bhubaneswar Kalita, B K Handique, Santosh Mohan Deb, Sarat Barkataki, Akon Bora, Hemanta Biswa Sarma, Najrul Islam, Bidya Singh Englang, Pritehibi Maji are the members of the Coordination Committee headed by Gogoi.
     
Tarun Gogoi, Hemprova Saikia, Bhumidhar Barman, Hemanta Sharma, D P Goala, Tanka Bahadur Rai, Rockybul Hussain, Bharat Narah and AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh are the members of the 10-member Manifesto Implementation Committee headed by Bhubaneswar Kalita.

Congress backs Gogoi

Amid mounting criticism of Assam government's handling of ethnic violence in the state, Congress on Friday strongly backed Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi saying it has "full faith" in him.

"We have full faith in our Chief Minister. Congress fully trusts all its Chief Ministers," party spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters when asked whether Congress has faith in Gogoi's ability to handle the crisis.

The party, however, steered clear of Gogoi's comment on Friday that the situation would not have deteriorated had the Army been deployed from day one. "There is no need to get into this kind of debate. Centre will give whatever help is required by the state," Alvi said.

(Agencies)

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