Former Chief Minister and Sagalee MLA Nabam Tuki denied reports that he would be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Reacting to a news report published in a national newspaper on Friday, Tuki said it was a ‘planted story’.
“I have no idea how the story was done without any confirmation or conversation with me,” he said.
Clarifying his position, the former CM said he has never had any meeting for joining any political party anywhere. “There is no point of joining the BJP. I have not contacted anyone. The reporter had earlier written such news. He should have verified with me,” he said.
“The report is false, fake and malicious, created to damage my image in public,” Tuki, a Congress leader, said.
BJP president Tapir Gao, when contacted, said that he had recently led a delegation of all Cabinet members of Arunachal Pradesh to Manipur capital Imphal, where there was a discussion on the forthcoming parliamentary election in the State and country.
“We discussed about strengthening of the party and about the stands of former ministers and MLAs and observed that most of them are with the BJP. The stand of the former CMs also came up and we discussed about Gegong Apang being with BJP, PK Thungon being inactive and Tuki staying with the Congress. There was nothing more,” Gao said.
The possibility of Tuki’s joining BJP was not discussed, he added.
Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) general secretary Tamchi Tahar too reacted to the ‘mischievous’ report, saying the reporter should have verified with the Congress before publishing such a report that harms the reputation of a respected leader like Tuki.
“The former CM himself has no information about his joining any other political party, specially the BJP,” Tahar said.
Meanwhile, in a letter sent to the editor of the national newspaper in New Delhi, Tuki said the news item headlined ‘Ex-CM Tuki may join BJP soon’ was an outcome of the reporter’s imagination and an attempt to destroy the image he has so painstakingly built over the years.
“I have served the people of my State Arunachal Pradesh, the northeastern region and my country as a loyal Congress worker over the past four decades. I have grown through the ranks of the party right from NSUI, Youth Congress and the parent body of the party. I continue to be the lone MLA from Congress in Arunachal Assembly even after mass defection took place from our party to topple the Congress Government led by me,” he wrote.
“I wish to reiterate that I will continue to serve my people as a loyal Congress worker throughout my life in public. Any insinuation of my switching over to another party is totally unfounded, baseless and imaginary with a mala fide intention to damage my political standing. I request you to kindly publish this clarification to dispel these unfounded rumours,” the letter said.