Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu addressing the 8th Rutum Kamgo Memorial Lecture at the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre in Itanagar

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday said the special provisions dealing with the welfare of the Northeastern region and tribal areas contained in Articles 371 A to J of the Constitution are provisions which are not temporary and will remain as it is.

“These being special provisions, they are permanent in nature and are aimed at protecting the indigenous culture of the northeastern states,” said Khandu while addressing the 8th Rutum Kamgo Memorial Lecture at the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre in Itanagar.

Hailing the decision of the Centre to abrogate Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the chief minister added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah have a soft corner for Northeast and they will not take any decision without consulting the states of the region.

Adding to Khandu’s assertion, Union minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries, Pratap Chandra Sarangi, said: “Unlike Article 370 which was a temporary provision, Article 371 is a permanent one and it will stay.”

“Article 371, permanent in nature, is to protect the unique cultural demography of the northeastern states. Why should it be removed? Please don’t fall prey to rumour mongers,” he said.

Earlier, while speaking on the topic of the lecture ‘abrogation of Article 370 and 35A: A step towards national integration’, Khandu said that history has proved that the journey of the separate status provided under the said article has been towards separatism and not integration.

“Article 370 was inserted in the Constitution as a temporary provision because of the political circumstances of the time and has resulted in the deprivation of fruits of development to the common people. It created a feeling of separatism which has been actively fomented and leveraged by our neighbouring countries to disturb peace and tranquility in the nation,” he said.

“It’s been 70 years since India attained Independence. But for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh real independence came this year after abrogation of Article 370,” he said.

Congratulating the Prime Minister on the decision, Khandu expressed confidence that corruption will now end and real development will begin.

“Now with this historic decision, I am sure that the people of the beautiful region will be able experience the promise of new India, with creation of more jobs, access to quality education and health care and a peaceful Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

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Sarangi also lambasted those who opposed abrogation of the Article 370 blaming them of giving it a communal colour.

Delivering the keynote address of the lecture, Sarangi said, “No one knows why the article was inserted in the Constitution in the first place. But as it was a temporary provision, it had to go one day. Crying foul now has no meaning.”

Sarangi, too, hailed Modi and Shah for the courageous decision, while stating that the temporary provision should have been abrogated long ago.

Meanwhile, he said he and officials of his ministry had a fruitful review meeting with state government officials and will jointly work out a proper roadmap for implementation of all government programmes related to his ministries.

On the occasion, organised every year by the Arunachal Pradesh Charitable Task, Tuluk Rida and Nyantom Tikkom were awarded the Neelam Nido Award for preservation and promotion indigenous faith and culture.

Rutum Kamgo was born on March 23, 1961 in Namuk village under Kamba circle in West Siang district. A social worker, he was associated with various organisations like Lobom Society, Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh and Arunachal Pradesh Charitable Task. Kamgo was also a patron of Lingalaya Mandir, Itanagar, and member of Donyi Polo and Kargu Gangi Society.

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