Guwahati, Sept. 28: Arunachal Pradesh is staring at a major political crisis with most Congress legislators, ministers and party leaders camping in Delhi, either lobbying for or against chief minister Jarbom Gamlin.
AICC leaders looking after the affairs of the state are having a tough time trying to broker peace at a time the high command itself is grappling to douse the fire sparked by a Union finance ministry letter questioning the role of home minister P. Chidambaram in the 2G scam.
The state leaders were closeted with Congress Working Committee member in-charge of Arunachal PCC Dhaniram Shandil in Delhi today, a source said.
Signs of the impending crisis could be felt during the three-day Assembly session that concluded last Monday when non-Congress MLAs demanded a CBI inquiry into the crash that claimed the life of Dorjee Khandu on April 30 during the obituary references and a Congress legislator raised the issue of the deteriorating law and order situation.
The abduction and subsequent release of senior Congress minister, Chowna Mein, only compounded the problem.
Though government spokesperson Setong Sena has refuted accusation of government forces being involved in the kidnapping, dubbing it as an attempt to gain cheap publicity, the rift is now out in the open with Mein himself telling The Telegraph this evening that he was abducted while on his evening walk on September 26 and taken to the chief ministers official residence at Niti Vihar where other MLAs and ministers were also present.
Gamlin, however, does not stay in his official residence.
I was kidnapped by youths who came in three Scorpios and forcibly took me to the chief ministers residence. When I told Gamlin who arrived later, he, too, expressed his dismay and got me dropped at my residence. Feeling insecure, I left Itanagar the same night to Delhi along with two MPs — Mukut Mithi and Takom Sanjoy. I have already informed the high command who also expressed concern. I refute what Sena is saying about my kidnapping, he said this evening.
Sanjoy, too, told The Telegraph, Criminalisation of politics is under way, with the official residence of the chief minister serving as the den. It is unfortunate. We have informed the high command about it.
Though Gamlin could not be reached, Tuki said: I am a loyal Congressman and will protect the democratic set-up in my state. It is a family matter and will be settled within the family — by the high command.
Sources attributed the rift to the race for chief ministership after Khandus death. Tuki, who appeared to be the frontrunner, was pipped to the post by Gamlin who was backed by Khandus family.
Party insiders said tonight that Gamlin, who took over as the chief minister only on May 5, might get a chance to put his house in order but it was going to be a tightrope walk for him and the high command given the undercurrent over his alleged efforts to unseat Tuki in July.
BJP organisation secretary, Northeast, P. Chandra Sekhar, said administration has come to a total standstill for over a month as two Congress groups lobby for leadership.
The Congress party is behaving irresponsibly. We will be raising the issue at our national executive from September 30 and then move the governor seeking Presidents rule as a peaceful state is turning violent, Sekhar said.
With governor J.J. Singh returning to Itanagar after a week this afternoon, things are likely to hot up in the coming days, a source said.