Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, whose residence was torched by protestors during the recent PRC agitation, on Friday announced that he would not contest the upcoming state Assembly polls from Lekang constituency but to contest from Chowkham.
Arunachal deputy chief minister Mein has represented Lekang constituency for the five consecutive terms since 1995.
Announcing his candidature from the Chowkham Assembly constituency, deputy chief minister Mein said he is thankful to the people of Lekang for their continued support for the last 30 years, reports TNM.
The decision of the Arunachal deputy CM comes in the wake of agitation over the Permanent Residential Certificate (PRC) issue during which three persons died and several other protestors were injured in police firing at Itanagar. Besides, huge private property worth crores were also lost during the unrest.
Six non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribes (non-APST) communities living in Namsai and Changlang are demanding PRC in Arunachal Pradesh.
Mein along with chief minister Pema Khandu announced that the government would provide PRC to six communities including Deoris, Mishings, Morans, Sonowal Kacharis, Gorkhas and Adivasis living in Namsai and Changlang districts.
But the Arunachali people in Itanagar and several other areas of the state protested the decision leading to severe violence.
Mein’s private residence in Itanagar along with the Itanagar International Film Festival venue and other government and private property, were burned by the protesters who went on rampage against the state government’s decision.
However, after the situation went out of control, the state government led by chief minister Pema Khandu declared that they won’t take up the PRC issue again in the state.
Peace has returned to Itanagar but Mein’s failure to take the general public and stakeholders into confidence before announcing the New Year gift was seen as one of the reasons behind the PRC issue blowing out into a major law and order crisis.
Even after peace has returned to the state capital, the people of Lekang said they have felt let down by the state government’s decision. Just ahead of the Assembly elections along with the Lok Sabha elections, Mein has chosen to step aside from Lekang and contest from a safer Chowkham constituency.
Informing about his decision to contest from Chowkham constituency, Chowna Mein on Saturday posted on the social networking site Facebook said: “I wish to thank the people of Lekang for their love and support in my 30 years of active politics. In these years, as entrusted upon me, I tried my best to work for the welfare and over all development of Lekang constituency in my best possible way though my efforts have always been for the development of whole Namsai district In my stint as five-term MLA from Lekang constituency, I have brought many developmental activities some of which are highlighted…”