Arunachal outfit on Itanagar-Delhi padayatra over 'graft charges' against CM

Itanagar: A group of 16 people, members of the Arunachal Against Corruption (AAC) outfit, has embarked on a 2,140-km-long ‘padayatra’ (foot march) from Itanagar to New Delhi alleging indulgence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu in graft.

The group, which was welcomed at Biswanath Chariali in Assam, aims to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and place before them “graft charges” against Khandu.

The group, which began the journey from Itanagar on August 21, and before that staged a sit-in demonstration from July 23-29, alleged that the chief minister was involved in corruption across departments.

“The Assamese people have shown us affection. People have given us food, water, cold drinks and tea. We sleep wherever we find space,” AAC president Tarh Tahar said.

However, one member fell sick on the way and had to withdraw from the march.

Tahar alleged that scams to the tune of Rs 4,000-5,000 crore across departments have stalled development in the state.

“Corruption is at its peak in Arunachal Pradesh. We thought the state government would discuss the issue with us but it ignored us. On July 25, we submitted a memorandum to Governor Brig (Retd) B D Mishra but he did nothing which compelled us to decide on taking up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Tahar said.

“We will apprise the PM about indulgence of Khandu in corruption and seek his intervention so that the issue is dealt with appropriately. The Centre has pumped in ample funds into the state but various projects are not being implemented,” the activist alleged, adding that the group would also meet Shah.

The ruling BJP in the state, however, rubbished the charges saying that the group has taken up some cases that had allegedly happened during the previous Congress government.

“Some of these cases were probed by an SIT. Some are pending in the court and are sub-judice,” party spokesman Techi Necha said.

“Some disgruntled political and non-political elements are instigating the group to disturb peace and development as part of a conspiracy against the Khandu government. The disgruntled elements are misguiding the youth to create unrest in the society,” Necha said.

However, Khandu could not be contacted for his comment on the allegations.

Also read | Arunachal: Governor presents citation to Engineer Regiment

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