Arunachal CM gives clarion call, ‘Shun Cash for votes culture’

Arunachal Pradesh has earned a bad reputation due to bad election practices- Pema Khandu, Chief Minister, Arunachal Pradesh 


Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu today gave a clarion call to the people for clean elections this time around and always, shunning cash-for-votes culture. Arunachal Pradesh would go to polls for both Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies by April next year.

Addressing a public meeting at Mariyang in Upper Siang district, he said Arunachal Pradesh has earned a bad reputation due to bad election practices, which has resulted in backwardness of the state on all fronts. He urged the people to use their franchise to elect leaders, who can actually work for their welfare and development of the state without demanding personal favours.

“After the creation of Staff Selection Board, you must have realized that favours like job-for-vote is not possible anymore. Now you have to also ensure that cash-for-vote practice is thwarted if you wish to see development in real sense,” he said.

Khandu pointed that money-culture in elections has deprived the common people of real development as either leaders spend their five years in accumulating wealth or leaders not fit to be leaders sit on the chair.

“If we want change in the system, it is we who have to change first,” he asserted while hinting at ‘hard’ reforms in the near future.

Khandu disclosed that he has already started the exercise to bring in reforms by forming committees of experts drawn from various backgrounds. Expressing confidence of forming the government again in 2019, he said these reforms would be implemented immediately after the elections.

“At first it will cause hardships especially to ministers, legislators, government employees and the people but in the long run the state and its people will benefit. Every change comes with pains and burns but these are short-lived. Ultimate goal is development of the state and welfare of our people,” he said and added that the top three priority sectors that will see major reforms would be health, education and agri-allied sectors.

To prove his point on reforms, the Chief Minister cited the changes brought in by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which after the initial hiccups have brought in unprecedented changes in governance. He hailed Modi as friend and savior of North East, especially Arunachal Pradesh.

“Just think of this….in about 26 years since Arunachal Pradesh became a state, less than 50 visits were made to the state by union ministers. After Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, which is about four and half years, number of visits by union ministers stand at about 130-plus!” Khandu disclosed. He expressed confidence that Arunachal Pradesh will continue to receive such attention even after 2019 as Modi would return as the Prime Minister.

Responding to a memorandum submitted by local legislator of Mariyang-Geku constituency Olom Panyang, Khandu assured assistance in fulfilling demands that include construction of an unfinished 2MW mini hydel project at Sidik river, border road to Singa and Anini, development of road network/CC Pavement within Mariyang township and nearby villages and establishment of a sub-treasury office and SBI branch at Mariyang, which is an ADC (Independent) headquarter. He said all the demands are genuine and would be discussed at the appropriate levels to decide on how to go about it.

The meeting was also attended by Minister Health, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Alo Libang, local legislator Olom Panyang, BJP state president Tapir Gao, officers of the district administration, HoDs, BJP leaders and workers, Gaon Buras, students and villagers.

Earlier on the day, the Chief Minister inaugurated the office building of Assistant Engineer of Urban Development & Housing, a rostrum-cum-gallery at Mariyang Ground, Giidi Notko public hall and a Donyi-Polo Ganggin.

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