*Young turk Pema Khandu’s role vital: Experts
By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR, May 23: “Positive attitudinal investment by the people alone will propel progress of natural resource rich Arunachal Pradesh,” – was the conclusion of hour-long live discussion on ‘Janadesh-2019’ in Door Darshan Kendra here on Thursday by RGU (Pol Sc) faculty Prof Nani Bath and senior journalist Taba Ajum with Pradeep Kumar as anchor.
Kumar initiated the discussion by asking why this new trend is in favour of BJP though 48 ruling BJP MLAs were originally Congress before switching over to PPA and then to BJP?
(The state went to simultaneous polls on April 11 when 48 MLAs belonged to ruling BJP of state’s 60 MLAs, besides INC and NPP five each and two independents.)
“The state during last five years witnessed repeated changes of party loyalty at the cost of development as Govt functioning was upset. That is why voters decided to elect a Govt capable of ensuring stability to catapult their socio-economic development by tapping the vast untapped natural resources,” said Ajum, adding the TsuNamo wave reaching every corner of this far-flung hilly state.
“Arunachalees being known nationalists consider state and centre factors. As the state depends on central funding, instead of considering the leaders, they choose the party while Union MoS Kiren Rijiju, BJP president Tapir Gao and Chief Minister Pema Khandu played their cards tactfully leading to BJP victory while both Lok Sabha candidates are on winning trend,” Dr Bath said.
When asked will it not be historic for BJP to form elected Govt first in Arunachal, though political stalwart Gegong Apang was first to form BJP-led United Democratic Front Govt in NE in Arunachal on 03.08.03 and to desert lock stock barrel after 40 days to rejoin Congress, Ajum responded positively saying the political situation then was different.
“Television played a major role in spreading TsuNamo to state’s unreachable areas as a resident of his native village Poma without mobile connectivity but hardly 30-km from Itanagar had said that he would vote for Modi for teaching Pakistan a great lesson as shown in TV,” Ajum said. That is why former leader, late Setong Sena had said “seeing is believing”, Kumar added.
“TV, AIR and social media played a very major role in providing direct connectivity with Modi for which people came to know about BJP’s ideology ”, Dr Bath reasoned.
When asked as to why new party Janata Dal (United) made positive inroad into the state, Dr Bath said that it is not the political party but the candidate and support of ruling CM make the difference and Rijiju-Gao-Khandu combination created the political dynamic. Ajum pitched in say, “personality clash and factionalism in ruling BJP was visible in selecting candidates. Their offensive and defensive stand in favour and against of candidates are known. Young dynamic CM Khandu in his public address has been craving for a Govt of his liking to accelerate development. Thus many were not given tickets while the strategy led to defeat of many”.
When Kumar asked has former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani comment in his 2013 Itanagar public address – “Delhi had decided not to develop Arunachal after the 1962 Chinese aggression, fearing it could benefit the neighbour. It was a “historical blunder”, but “Arunachal Delhi se door hey, par dil se nahin”- yielded any benefit for this under developed state?
“The central Govt has been pumping inn huge funds under different heads including border area development which are not utilized properly though the same fund surfaces during elections to buy votes. It is high time for an attitudinal change for the people. Until and unless ‘cash for vote’ is given a passé, Arunachal would continue to suffer,” Dr Bath said with conviction.
“Bureaucracy is the greatest hurdle for development as the bureaucrats look at things without through knowledge of the ground realities of this land-locked state,” Ajum said, adding it was CM Khandu who was instrumental in making the Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Science functional, initiating work of long pending Hollongi green field airport and creating service selection board to end corrupt practices in appointment.
“Very right”, Kumar said, adding cement per bag costs Rs 6,800 at Vijoynagar, located along China-Tibet-Myanmar tri-junction in Changlang district developed during 1962, as was disclosed by a junior engineer during open defecation free campaign. Had the lawmakers facilitated completion of road from Miao to Vijonagar the situation would have been different.
Highlighting menace of NSCN (IM) and K factions in Tirap, Changlang and Longding district and people know who were instrumental in inviting them, when Kumar asked that after former Lok Sabha member Wangcha Rajkumar was shot dead while playing badminton at Deomali Multipurpose Community Hall in Tirap district on December 23.12.07, suspected NSCN insurgents massacred 11 people, including sitting MLA Tirong Aboh at Bogapani at 11.30 am on May 21, Ajum wondered why NSCN is allowed to resort to such inhuman activities in Arunachal when it has signed ceasefire accord with the Centre for peace?
The state and central Govts, particularly Rijiju-Gao-Khandu, will have to deal with insurgency on priority for creating a peaceful atmosphere for development to take deep roots, both experts said, but Dr Bath skeptically said “I fear if the Centre neglects Arunachal one day may seek help from neighbouring nation China”?
Ajum asked: “Why additional security was not given to Aboh when serious security threat on him was known and state’s chief secretary and DGP are responsible for ensuring security coverage of elected leaders?” “If the next governments fail to act, their credibility will stand questioned”, added Dr Bath.
However, state’s unemployment problems, poor medical service, road connectivity, slow progress of Trans-Arunachal Highway reflected poor performance of the Govt, Ajum said, adding tapping high potential tourism, agr-horti, animal husbandry & diary development sectors would bring desired results. No development would be helpful till law & order situation improves, Dr Bath said.
Concluding the discussion, Kumar said by late evening total results will be out for the people to know who will ascend the throne at Itanagar and Delhi but the next Govts should be ready to meet huge expectations of the masses who have voted them to power with thumping majority.