ITANAGAR, Aug 6: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on Thursday welcomed Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s proposal to hold consultations with all stakeholders on the issue of autonomous district councils (ADC), and urged the CM to adopt a holistic approach with regard to any measure which would have widespread ramifications in the entire state.
The union, however, lamented that the proposal from the chief minister came only after opposition from all over the state, and said that the state government, particularly the chief minister, “should understand and gauge the pulse of the people.”
“Rather than exclusive autonomy for a few regions, the focus should be on overall development of the state,” the AAPSU stated in a press release.
It suggested that the proposed consultative debate/meeting should seek to put a “permanent moratorium” on the ADC issue and primarily focus on the defective Statehood Act and the ways and means to secure constitutional rights for the people of Arunachal.
“It should focus on strengthening of ILP system, constitutional safeguards to the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, etc, and not on justifying the creation of Mon autonomous council and Patkai autonomous council on a state government platform,” it said.
“The state government yesterday made us aware of the comprehensive chronology with regards to the Mon and Patkai ADC demand movement which started in 2003. But the people of the state must also know that the AAPSU had been protesting and voicing its strong opposition to the creation of selective autonomous regions in the state without any proper justifications since 2003,” the AAPSU said.
“To term the opposition to creation of such councils as recent is wrong, as there have been subsequent protests against the same from the very beginning. Many rallies and dharnas have been led and organized by the AAPSU, opposing the move,” the union said.
It said “the yardstick to measure the level of economic development and progress, including socio-cultural preservation and development, is almost same for every region in a multi-tribal state like ours and the dynamics in the regions seeking ADC have gone a sea change since 2003.”
“The focus should be on inclusive development and not on exclusiveness. Any attempt which sows seeds of discord and division among the various tribes should be averted as every community and region in the state aspire for progress, prosperity and cohesive development,” it said.