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                          Vol.3, No.32  [*]  May 19, 1998
                          S U P P L E M E N T * I S S U E 
   In a dramatic turn to simmering dissensions within the AGP,  Mr  Atul
   Bora,  known  to  be  the No.2 man in Mahanta Ministry, announced his
   resignation from the Cabinet and openly declared  war  against  Chief
   Minister P.K.Mahanta, demanding that Mr Mahanta quit as the leader of
   the party and the Government.
   Addressing  a  crowded press conference on May 18 at his residence in
   Guwahati flanked by nearly a  hundred  of  his  supporters  including
   ministers  Jatin  Mali,  Pradip  Hazarika, Rajendra Musahary and MLAs
   Atul Bora, Pulakesh Baruah (former Speaker), Gahin  Das,  Haji  Abdul
   Rauf,  Mr  Bora  said the Chief Minister to get a clean chit from the
   court regarding his  alleged  involvement  in  the  LoC  scam.    But
   instead,  he  secured  a reprieve from the Governor, facilitating the
   other parties to attack the AGP and the Government.
   In  his  resignation  letter,  photocopies  of which were distributed
   among the newsmen, Mr Bora stated that having felt humiliated by  the
   unilateral decision of the Chief Minister to change his portfolio, he
   tendered  his resignation from the ministry with immediate effect. As
   he announced his  resignation,  his  supporters  shouted  `Atul  Bora
   Atul Bora claimed that many other Ministers and MLAs including Bhrigu
   Phukan, Hiten Goswami and Bhaben Baruah were going to back him in his
   quest to find an alternative leader of the party and a replacement of
   Mr Mahanta as the Chief Minister.
   Mr Bora said that in a meeting on March 12 it was resolved  that  all
   decisions  of  the Government would be taken by the Chief Minister in
   consultation with him and agreed that this was being adhered to by Mr
   Mahanta.  But Mr Mahanta never consulted him about the reshuffle  and
   changed  his  portfolio  even while he was away in New Delhi, he said
   and thundered, `The party and the Government shall  not  run  at  the
   whims and fancies of Mahanta.'

   Chief Minister P.K.Mahanta asserted that there was no crises  in  the
   party in the wake of the resignation of senior Cabinet Minister, Atul
   Bora, and revolt by several others.

   Minister  of  State for Welfare of Plains Tribes and Backward Classes
   Rajendra  Musahahary,  who  was  present  at  the  press   conference
   addressed  by  Mr  Atul Bora, in the afternoon of May 18, made a neat
   volte-face in the evening when he issued a  `clarification'  that  he
   had  gone  to  Mr  Bora's residence on being requested by him to come
   over.  But he was not aware  that  Mr  Bora  would  address  a  press
   conference against  the  Chief  Minister.    He said that he had full
   confidence on Mahanta, adding that he was against dissidence  in  the
   It may be mentioned that Mr Musahahary seemed to be very enthusiastic
   to get his photographs taken at the press conference.  He also told a
   group  of newsmen after the press conference was over that Mr Mahanta
   had deceived him.

   The  new  PWD Minister Nagen Sharma told The Sentinel over phone that
   Mr Pradip Hazarika, Transport Minister, had told the  Chief  Minister
   in  the  evening of May 18 in presence of several ministers and party
   MLAs during an informal meeting that he had  full  confidence  on  Mr
   Mahanta  and  that he was never with Mr Atul Bora. Mr Pradip Hazarika
   was present in Mr Bora's press conference.

   More than seventeen years after the diabolical  killing  of  Mr  E.S.
   Parthasarathy,  the  then Upper Assam Commissioner at Jorhat, the CBI
   has at last charge-sheeted Assam Minister Pradip Hazarika and several
   others as accused in the case. Mr Hazarika appeared before the  Court
   of  the  Sessions  Judge,  Shillong  on  May  16 along with the other
   accused to hear the charges but pleaded not guilty and  also  claimed
   to be tried.
   The  Assam  Minister  has been charged with the Explosives Substances
   Act and the Arms Act in connection with the incident  on  October  9,
   1982,  when  he  was  found  in  possession  of  a  9  mm pistol with
   ammunition and one country-made pipe gun without valid licence.
   Mr Parthasarathy was killed in a bomb-blast in his office on April 6,
   1981. The bomb was placed under his chair the previous night and blew
   up as soon as he sat on the chair. Hazarika's name figured  again  in
   the  chargesheet  of  Niren Sarma who has been charged under the Arms
   Act, for illegally obtaining  a  9  mm  pistol  with  two  rounds  of
   ammunition  and  two  grenades  from  Pradip  Hazarika  for allegedly
   killing Mr Parthasarathy.
   Mr  Hazarika's  name figured in yet another case in January, 1980 and
   in 1981, when he along  with  Mr  Probin  Saikia  were  allegedly  in
   possession of hand-grenades and arms, some of which were recovered on
   July 17, 1981.
   Barring  Mr  Hazarika  and  Mr  Probin Saikia, the rest six have been
   accused of meeting at Jorhat, Guwahati and other places during  April
   1981 and conspiring to kill Mr Parthasarathy. 
   (The killing of Mr Parthasarathy created a great sensation throughout
   the State  at  that time.  It was also alleged that Mr Parthasarathy,
   as the Deputy Commissioner of Tezpur had issued order of firing  upon
   peaceful  demonstrators  at the height of the Assam agitation against
   illegal immigrants in the '80s.  The firing orders  were  alleged  to
   have been  uncalled for and unprovoked.  His killing was suspected to
   have been in revenge for the firing  orders  which  resulted  in  the
   death of several people including women.  - Mozz)