Speculations are rife that Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s People’s Party of Arunachal might soon join BJP. However, former Chief Minister and lone Congress MLA in Arunachal Pradesh, Nabam Tuki has reminded his colleagues about an elusive special package that made them left Congress.
Last month, 43 of 44 MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh had quit the Congress to form the regional People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) government. Only former chief minister Nabam Tuki, who went to court for the restoration of the Congress government in the state on July 13, stayed back.
The centre had dismissed Tuki’s Congress government on January 26 which paved the way for a rebel Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh less than a month later.
‘It’s sad that my friends left the Congress. They said they did it for the sake of the state’s development. The BJP did all that it could like imposing President’s Rule and using (former) Governor JP Rajkhowa. Now, it has to compensate by releasing the special package of Rs 25,000-crore which the PM committed. But the Centre is only giving lip service for the last two-and-a-half years,’ Tuki said.
Special Package or Fear of Centre?
Tuki said the special package was one of the reasons why the Congress MLAs defected to PPA and be part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. The other was the fear that the Centre would choke flow of funds to Arunachal Pradesh.
‘I did not succumb to Delhi’s threat-and-allurement pressure policy but the others did. Congress is like my maa (mother). How can one change one’s mother?’Tuki said.
The former chief minister said one needs to stand by his or her party during the most difficult of times. ‘Small, resource-deficient states like Arunachal Pradesh are dependent on the Centre. But it is not fair to leave the Congress when it is not in power at the Centre.’
Assuring the Pema Khandu government of his cooperation in development initiatives, Tuki reminded it of the numerous visits by Union Ministers to the state. ‘One has to keep in mind that these visits have not yielded any fiscal benefit for Arunachal Pradesh’ he said.