Mukul, others knock Pranab’s door with ‘save us’ plea

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma hands over a memorandum to the President Pranab Mukherjee, while others look on at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday. (PTI)

New Delhi: Alarmed over the swearing in of Kalikho Pul as Chief Minister of Arunchal Pradesh, a Congress delegation on Saturday night met President Pranab Mukherjee and expressed apprehension of “similar experiments” by Centre to overthrow duly elected governments in other Northeast states.
The Congress delegation, comprising party MPs from the Northeastern states including  Vincent Pala, Wansuk Syiem and  Thokchom Meinya (Manipur),  Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and V Narayanasamy, Congress in-charge of the Northeast, told the President that attempts were being made to “create communal divide” and implicate leaders from the Northeastern states in “false” cases.
“The manner and method in which the established Government of Arunachal Pradesh led by Nabam Tuki has been displaced is an experiment, we fear, will be replicated in other Congress-led Northeastern states,” the memorandum said.
The delegation also alleged that all Governors appointed by the BJP are either committed members of the RSS or are committed to that ideology or wish to take forward the agenda of the BJP and the RSS.
Coming out of Rashtrapati Bhavan,  the Meghalaya Chief Minster said that they were perturbed over the developments in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh where the Centre misusing the high office of the Governor first ousted one democratically elected Government and installed another with BJP support.
“We are aware of their hidden agenda and will not allow such undemocratic act to be repeated,” he said.
“We believe attempts are being made to implicate leaders of the Northeastern states in false cases so that they are handicapped to work for the people,” Sangma said.
He alleged that many Centrally sponsored schemes have either been stopped or its funding has been drastically reduced by the NDA government.
“These acts are against the people of Northeast. It is also brought to your notice that the Special Category status to the Northeast states by the previous governments have been withdrawn. This again is detrimental to the interests of the people of the Northeast and overall development of these states,” Sangma added.
Pul, who had led a revolt against the leadership of former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, was administered the oath office and secrecy by Arunachal Pradesh Governor K P Rajkhowa on Friday.
Pul, 48, heads a government that has the support of 19 dissident Congress MLAs, 11 of BJP from outside and two Independents, in the 60-member state Assembly.  (With inputs from agencies)