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Manik slams Centre’s claims on Myanmar op

Agartala: Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar on Wednesday reacted to the Centre's claims of 'surgical strikes' by the Army on northeast rebels in Myanmar and said, "People now understand the Centre's tall claims."

Talking to the media, he said, "We received information about the operation through media reports.

After the Myanmar government denied the Centre's claims, everybody became silent. What does this mean?" The Myanmar government denied that the anti-insurgency operation occurred in its territory in spite of claims to that effect made by a couple of central ministers.

Sarkar, however, acknowledged that anti-insurgency operations in Tripura have been very successful. "We are confident that militancy has been substantially contained. We are still working on eradicating it completely from our state," he added.

Answering questions on his recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, Sarkar said no decision has been taken on retaining the special category tag for the northeastern states. The eight states in the region believe funds for centrally-aided projects will decrease despite a 10% increase in the devolution of the central tax share to the states. On April 23, the chief ministers of all eight states moved a joint resolution to meet the Prime Minister.

"Before going to meet Modi, I sought the views of my counterparts in the northeast. Since we are facing similar issues, I asked him to convene a meeting with all of us, but he declined," Sarkar added.

After the dissolution of the Planning Commission, there is no scope for the northeastern states, which are special category states, to receive Normal Assistance, Special Plan Assistance and Special Central Assistance. "Since the Planning Commission has been dissolved, we thought funds for 65 projects would be added to the central budget, but they were not," Sarkar said.