ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu assures all political parties and other organizations of the state to provide a specific land as “protest area” in a centrally located area of the city with toilet facilities, water, electricity and shed facilities.
He announced this, while laying the foundation stone of the state BJP’s party office at the Tennis Court area of Indira Gandhi Park here, which is usually used by various organizations and civil society groups to stage democratic protests.
Amidst strong protest from the Opposition and several other organizations alike, the BJP general secretary (Organization) for NE states Ajay Jamwal on Monday laid the foundation for construction of the state BJP’s party office at the tennis court area of Indira Gandhi Park here.
Present on the occasion were, chief minister Pema Khandu, deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, state BJP president Tapir Gao and other council of ministers, including the BJP MLAs.
Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Khandu thanked Jamwal for his support for the party office and the Bhawan Nirman Committee, led by state BJP president, and Tani Loffa for acquiring the land.
Calling the day as historic, he said the building will not be an individual’s property but will be dedicated for the party’s cause.
The chief minister said he is aware of the reservations expressed by several organizations and informed that he has already had discussions with them. He said, the concerns expressed by them were genuine and assured to provide land for “protest” area in the capital city in the centrally located area with toilet facilities, water, and electricity and shed facilities. He said the government is not opposed to any protest culture and said that it very much appreciates that protest is part and parcel of democracy.
The chief minister further said the party office will be build using funds through contribution from well-wishers and party’s own sources and contributed Rs 20 lakh from his personal means for the construction of the building.
Earlier, the foundation laying ceremony was followed by a bhumi pujan.
The state BJP’s decision to construction its office at the said land has of late drawn strong opposition and condemnation from the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) and Arunachal Civil Society (ACS) and the All Nyishi Students’ Union (ANSU).
Where the APCC has been alleging the BJP of encroaching the said land, the ACS has announced that it would organize a peaceful protest march from Akashdeep complex to the Civil Secretariat here on January 8 in protest against the construction. The ANSU, on Sunday demanded immediate cancellation of the land allotment order granted against the tennis court to the BJP.
In a representation to the chief minister, the ANSU strongly condemned the “nepotism and anti-democratic move by the state government” and expressed disappointment over the allotment of land in the tennis court area, which is used by various organizations and civil society groups to stage democratic protests.