Allegations against CM baseless, says Felix; invites ANYA for talk to call off bandh

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 11 Jan: Home Minister Bamang Felix has termed the All Nyishi Youth Association’s (ANYA) allegations against Chief Minister Pema Khandu “vague and baseless.”

Addressing reporters during a press conference held at the civil secretariat press information centre here on Tuesday, Felix said, “The state government has been maintaining utmost transparency and accountability with heavy hands on corruption. Arunachal Pradesh is the largest state in Northeast India and most sparsely populated state in the country. It was a conscious decision of the government to decentralize governance and ensure ease of living of all our citizens.

“Accordingly, we have created a divisional commissioner (east and west) for administration,” he said.

Responding to the ANYA’s allegations with regard to the creation of department of DoKAA, department of Tawang and West Kameng and department of Bhoti language, Felix said, “This is totally misleading as there is no such department, except department of DoKAA, which was created way back in 2009-10. Such unfounded allegations to disrupt our age-old tribal harmony are a very dangerous trend for our state. We must all disown such tendencies with narrow disturbing agendas outright.”

Felix also termed the ANYA’s allegation of non-release of funds and of all funds going to the north western zone and the eastern zone “baseless and illogical.”

He stated that such allegations have been raised time and again by the same persons several times and detailed records were shared by the government with them as well as with the media.

Felix also disclosed the state budget, stressing that the government is trying hard to maintain transparency in SIDF and RE. “Under SIDF, LOC of Rs 2,269.27 crores was released to various works departments for the period from financial year (FY) 2017-18 to FY 2020-21. Further, during FY 2020-21, additional LOC authorization of Rs 752.79 crores was provided against pending liabilities of SIDF and additional RE of 2017-18 and 2018-19. Almost all liabilities under SIDF and RE have been cleared.”

Regarding the ANYA’s allegation against firms owned by the CM’s relatives, Felix said that “there is no illegality in any citizen having any number of firms and doing business in the country.

“However, if there are any grievances and allegations of corrupt practices in such firms, our constitution and legal framework provides sufficient windows for redressal and delivery of justice,” added Felix.

On the allegation of misappropriation of funds, Felix said, “The government is a transparent one. Any allegations of misappropriations of funds are open to scrutiny. Instead of vague allegations, specific complaints will be taken cognizance of.”

The home minister stated that bandh calls only hamper the economic affairs of the state, causing unnecessary harassment to the common people. “Had the state government not heard them or not called them for talks, it would have been a different matter, but despite repeated invitation for clarification the ANYA team did not turn up for open discussions with the government,” he added.

“Bandh calls have been declared as illegal and unconstitutional by various judgments of the Supreme Court of India, the Kerala High Court, as well as the Gauhati High Court. The Arunachal Pradesh Unlawful Activities (Prevention Act) 2014 also attracts similar provisions against bandh calls. If the unconstitutional bandh call is not withdrawn immediately, strict legal action will be taken against the enforcers,” stated Felix.

He appealed to the ANYA to call off the proposed bandh and come forward for talks. “The state government is always ready to accommodate them for a healthy discussion and sort out the issues through dialogues,” he added.

Earlier, the state BJP also held a press briefing at its state headquarters and urged the ANYA to call off the bandh.