"Raj Bhavan Activities Stand Testimony to BJP/RSS Hand in its Affairs": Arunachal CM Tuki
Arunachal Pradesh Nabam Tuki
NEW DELHI: The case of dismissal of the Arunachal Pradesh government and Presidents’ rule is to come up before the Supreme Court soon. Meanwhile Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki spoke to The Citizen in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:
Q.What are your plans now, murder of democracy yes but what happens if the Supreme Court rules in favour of President’s rule?
We have placed our grievances for consideration of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. We are confident that we will get Justice. The Supreme Court will surely protect the people of Arunachal Pradesh.
We will accept whatever the Supreme Court verdicts. Unlike our NDA friends, we don’t try to overreach or disrespect the Constitution as well as the highest Judiciary in the land.
Q.Why is it that you did not hold elections in the state when due?
This was a conscious decision taken after consultation with all the stake holders. The financial position was a strong consideration in favour of holding elections simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections. The state exchequer was not in a position to take the burden of two elections within a gap of less than five months. This is a normal thing done in accordance with the necessary provisions in the larger interests of the State.
Q. The BJP says that the Congress record has not been exactly shining..your response?
That is for the people of Arunachal Pradesh to decide. Despite a strong Modi wave we got absolute majority of 47 seats in a 60 member Assembly only due to our good development record. The people reposed their confidence in us because of our good track record. BJP has done nothing for Arunachal.
Many of our State Flagship programmes have been recognised nationally and internationally and more importantly benefitted the people. For instance the CM’s Universal Health Insurance Scheme covers the entire populace of Arunachal Pradesh. Any person irrespective of his background can get cashless treatment in high end hospitals all across the country. We have enlarged the scope of our people in many ways. The track record is for all to see. I don’t like to tom-tom my achievements. It is for the people to judge our performance.
These are all political statements without any ground. People are the final auditors of socio-economic progress and they get a chance to do this audit every five years. Their audit report went in favour of us in the elections. BJP won only 11 seats.
Q. This kind of politics in a sensitive state like AP is rather dangerous don’t you think?
Absolutely. The kind of politics being played out by the NDA to destabilise this beautiful frontier state is dangerous.
The failure of the NDA to respect the tribal citizens of Arunachal has sent out a bad message not only within the country but also internationally. This is a very sorry position to be in.
You can’t manipulate a majority for getting backdoor entry to Arunachal Pradesh, that too in the backdrop of the serious constitutional issues being heard by a 5 member Constitution bench of the Supreme Court. Playing routine politics is one thing but playing with the constitutional process to subvert democratic practices is quite unfortunate.
Q. What is the real reason for this hostility between the Governor and your government?
There is no hostility at all. We welcomed the present incumbent with open arms when he joined on 1st June, 2015. That he belongs to our neighbouring Assam had created a lot of enthusiasm amongst a wide cross section of people that he will guide and further the interests of our state in the right earnest.
However, we were surprised at his actions right from day one when he started a sort of witch hunt against my Government. He rather stunted the development process by excessively interfering in executive affairs with scant regard for hierarchy. This confused us as well as the bureaucracy. This was not expected from him. Then certain actions of his were out in the public domain which suggested that he was acting against the interests of the state. He wrote to the Prime Minister that the Greenfield Airport project in Itanagar should be scrapped in favour of an Airport in Assam. This is like playing with fire.
You, being the Governor, are writing to the highest authority of the land to stop this project against the backdrop that Arunachal remains the only state in the NE Region without an airport of its own is a very wrong thing to do. This created a furore all over the state. Despite all, I requested him not to jeopardise this project which is on the verge of sanction.
There are many such instances which finally culminated into him overriding the Council of Ministers and pre-poning the Assembly Session to serve the interests of a particular political party.
I wrote to him seeking his support for the State Government. But he did not respond. It is he who is responsible for the manufactured constitutional crisis in Arunachal. Now, the Supreme Court will decide on these issues.
Q.Do you believe that the Governor is acting on behalf of some Hindutva groups (Probably RSS)?
The activities of the Raj Bhavan since the time the Governor took office stand testimony to the BJP/RSS elements having a hand in its affairs. I would not say much except the fact that the constitutional sanctity of this high office has been grossly compromised.
This is a sad thing to happen in a state which has a unique presence in eastern most frontier of the country. Our patriotic people zealously guard the frontiers despite many hardships. We are late starters in the development process as we attained statehood hardly thirty years ago. The efforts have been to take development and Governance to the remotest corners of the state which the State Government was pursuing in right earnest. Sometimes we must have the heart and mind to work with a broader perspective in mind. This requires that petty political considerations don’t prevail over what the state requires in the long term.