Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday called upon the people of the state to shun the cash-for-votes syndrome prevalent in the state to facilitate a clean election.
Arunachal Pradesh would go to polls for both Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies by April next year.
Addressing a public meeting at Mariyang in the Upper Siang district, Khandu said Arunachal had earned a bad reputation due to bad election practices and the same had resulted in backwardness of the state on all fronts.
He urged the people to use their franchise to elect leaders, who can actually work for their welfare and development of the state without demanding personal favours.
Khandu pointed that money-culture in elections had deprived the common people of real development as either leaders spend their five years in accumulating wealth to win the next election or leaders not fit to be leaders sit on the chair.
“If we want a change in the system, it is we who have to change first,” he asserted while hinting at ‘hard’ reforms in the near future.
Khandu disclosed that he has already started the exercise to bring in reforms by forming committees of experts drawn from various backgrounds. Expressing confidence of forming the government again in 2019, he said these reforms would be implemented immediately after the elections.
“At first it will cause hardships especially to ministers, legislators, government employees and the people but in the long run the state and its people will benefit from it. Every change comes with pains and burns but these are short-lived. Ultimate goal is development of the state and welfare of our people,” he said and added that the top three priority sectors that will see major reforms in the future would be health, education and agri-allied sectors.
To prove his point on reforms, the chief minister cited the changes brought in by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which after the initial hiccups have brought in unprecedented changes in governance. He hailed Modi as friend and savior of North East, especially Arunachal Pradesh
“Just think of this….in about 26 years since Arunachal Pradesh became a state, less than 50 visits were made to the state by union ministers. After Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, which is about four and half years, number of visits by union ministers stand at about 130-plus,” Khandu disclosed.