ITANAGAR, Mar 30: Former home minister Kumar Waii finds himself courting controversy after making a supposedly communal jibe against Chief Minister Pema Khandu during an election rally speech at the ground of the government higher secondary school in East Kameng HQ Seppa on 24 March.
In his speech, which was recorded on video, Waii is heard saying, “Today I am not contesting for the MLA post; I am contesting for the CM’s post. Bless and support me. I promise you that if I get elected, I will crush Monpa po (that Monpa – referring to Khandu) like a disposable cup.”
Though Waii addressed the people in the Nyishi dialect of East Kameng region, his speech did not go down well in some quarters.
The state BJP’s media cell has filed a complaint against Waii with the chief election commissioner (CEC), seeking action against him.
In its representation, the party’s media cell said Waii, who is contesting on an NPP ticket for the Bameng assembly constituency, threatened to crush Khandu using words which were derogatory and communal in nature. The media cell demanded action against Waii for breaching the rules of conduct laid down by the Election Commission of India.
It claimed that Waii was venting his anger against the chief minister for allegedly playing a vital role in offering the BJP ticket to Waii’s opponent Guruk Pordung.
The Monpa Mimang Tshokpa (MMT) has also written to the CEC, urging him to “take necessary steps (against Waii) as per the appropriate provision of law.”
In its complaint, the MMT accused Waii of “demeaning the pride and prestige of Monpa community,” claiming that Waii said he would “crush the Monpas like a disposal glass and paper and throw it into the dustbin.”
Accusing the former home minister of playing with the sentiments of a community and creating communal disharmony in the state, it said “the Monpas are deeply hurt with such derogatory and communally motivated investigative speech.”
Demanding a public apology from Waii, the MMT also sought a clarification from him over the remark.
The 8th Bameng People’s Forum and the state unit of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh have also lodged complaints against Waii over the remark against Khandu, and demanded swift action against the former home minister.
Meanwhile, Waii himself clarified that his speech had nothing against the Monpa community but was pointed solely at Khandu.
In a recorded statement, Waii admitted that he spoke against the chief minister because of political differences with him.
“I keep going to places like Bomdila, Dirang and Tawang, and I have several Monpa friends and relatives. How could I comment against the entire community?” said Waii.