ITANAGAR, Jul 15: A war of words between the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) broke out over demand for releasing a top bureaucrat by the latter.
The APCC served two days ultimatum to the state government on July 12 to relieve Chief Secretary (in-charge) Satya Gopal for his alleged role in getting bye-election to Pakke-Kessang Assembly Constituency postponed. The Congress party alleges that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has been misguided by the Chief Secretary In-Charge.
The state BJP defended Satya Gopal stating that the postponement (of the bye-election) was in the greater interest and safety and security of all those involved in the electioneering process.
Out rightly rejecting the demand of the APCC, the BJP stated, “Gopal is not going anywhere, anytime soon.”
According to the BJP, Satya Gopal wrote to the ECI only after he had received a report from the DEO of East Kameng and reviewed the situation with departmental heads before communicating the same to the ECI.
“Under present circumstance, it is next to impossible to send polling staff and materials to 2-Gumtung, 3-Tengri, 4-Hotte, 14-Lamta 17-Lassum Pate and 18-Taposo. It took two days to deliver EVM/VVPAT to Seppa from Itanagar,” stated the BJP.
The party urged the Congressmen to rise above petty politics in this trying time, when the entire state has been badly hit by monsoon furry.
“We have lost several lives and the entire state is still in a state of shock and is mourning the tragic deaths,” stated the BJP.
Claiming that damage assessment of public infrastructure and private properties might take longer than expected this year, the BJP asserted that Satya Gopal has not miscommunicated.
“As per the law of the land, the by-election would be held within six months. Deferring it by few weeks is not above rule or law,” added the BJP.
On the other hand, the APCC is still firm on its demand.
“Our demand to relieve Satya Gopal is genuine and legal from the election point of view,” the APCC said.
Reacting sharply to the BJP statement, the APCC stated, “The state BJP is digging its own grave by defending the ‘tainted’ officer, whose role is well proven in misguiding the ECI to cancel the bye-election.”
The APCC also questioned as to why Satya Gopal has been retained for almost two month after he was transferred by the MHA on May 29 last.
“Since the Election Commission is an autonomous body, the in-charge Chief Secretary is not supposed to intervene and seek report from District Election Office directly until the District Election Office itself writes to the Chief Electoral Officer pertaining to the election,” the APCC said.
Moreover, all-party meeting was not called before filing of the report to discuss the gravity of the situation, the APCC said, and added that the BJP being a political entity should not interfere in the functioning of the government.