Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Punished for doing job: Pul

Defenestrated MLA Kalikho Pul today reacted to his "expulsion" from the Arunachal Pradesh Congress saying he was "punished for doing his job".

By Ranju Dodum
  • Published 4.04.15

Itanagar, April 3: Defenestrated MLA Kalikho Pul today reacted to his "expulsion" from the Arunachal Pradesh Congress saying he was "punished for doing his job".

Speaking to reporters here today, Pul hinted that his criticism of the handling of state finances by the government did not go down well with the party, which led to his removal from the party.

State Congress president Padi Richo yesterday issued a press statement informing that the legislator from Anjaw was expelled "for six years for anti-party activities". Today, Pul denied indulging in any such activities and said he has "always worked for the party whenever needed".

The ousted MLA also said the state Congress has not followed any set guidelines and that it is the jurisdiction of the party's working committee to take such decisions.

"I was not even served a showcause notice," he said and added that he will appeal to the All India Congress Committee whose decision he will accept. While he pledged his allegiance to the party, citing his long association with the Congress since watching Rajiv Gandhi deliver a speech in his district in 1987, Pul today criticised his former colleagues in the government.

Pul was dropped as health minister from chief minister Nabam Tuki's cabinet in December even before completing one year. He said his attempts to improve the state's health indicators were often met with roadblocks when it came to acquiring funds to meet staff and medicinal shortages. He said he even walked out of a cabinet meeting last year because of disagreements with his former cabinet colleagues. He said differences of opinions had led to him writing a resignation letter to the chief minister.

Armed with a large number of dossiers and documents today, Pul said the state finances are in a shambles because of mismanagement.

"March has just ended and the government is already suffering from financial overdraft," he claimed. Pul questioned why the state finances are currently in overdraft of over Rs 6,000 crore when Rs 5,000 crore was released by the Centre for the 2014-15 financial year under central grants aside from additional funds under other financial heads.

Although the current financial records of the state have not been disclosed, government spokesperson Bamang Felix has gone on record to state that there was no financial crisis in the state. However, during a conference earlier in February, chief minister Nabam Tuki admitted that the state was not financially sound, as it has to rely on the Centre for most of its needs leading to insufficient provision of funds from the government.

Cautioning against alleged misuse of finances, Pul today said, "People will spit at us and put a garland of shoes if it continues."