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Cong Ministry in Arunachal comes in for attack
Published on 8 Nov. 2009 11:11 PM IST
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The week-old Dorjee-Khandu-led Congress Ministry in Arunachal Pradesh has come under sharp attack from the dominant Nyishi tribe for inclusion of only two members of the community in the council of ministers. The Nyishi Elite Society (NES) submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister on November 5 and demanded that one of the ministers representing the community be made deputy chief minister to compensate for what it claimed was the community’s under-representation in the cabinet. NES chairman Bengia Tolum told a press conference today that Nyishis constitute 30 per cent of the total indigenous population in the state spread over five of the 16 districts. In the last ministry there were three ministers who were Nyishis. However, this time only two of the total 12 ministers are Nyishis. “It is an injustice to the community,” he said and demanded that one of the two Nyishi ministers be made deputy Chief Minister. To a question, Tolum said that in 1979 the then ministry fell when Nyishi MLAs withdrew support. This time out of 14 Nyishi MLAs, seven were in the ruling Congress. “However, we are not going to do anything to harm the government but want to express our resentment,” he added. Congress won 42 of the total 60 seats in the just concluded assembly elections, reported ZeeNews. To another question, Tolum said it was a fact that one of the two Lok Sabha members from Arunachal was a Nyishi, but added that it cannot be treated as compensation. “In the cabinet if backward regions like Kurung Kumey district, bordering China, and East Kameng district remain unrepresented, who will raise their issues there?” he said. During their talks with Khandu, the NES delegates were told that the composition of the ministry was decided by the Congress High Command. However, NES believes the High Command was not aware of the ground realities and whatever recommendations went to it from the state, it put its seal of approval on it.

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