Itanagar, February 18: The People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) has urged Chief Minister Pema Khandu and MPs from the state to initiate fresh dialogue with the Centre for amendment of the “defective” Statehood Act of 1987.
Arunachal Pradesh celebrates Statehood Day on February 20.
PPA secretary General Kaling Jerang, in a statement, alleged the act passed by Parliament without the constitutional backing of the assembly, overlooked genuine concerns and grievances of the indigenous people of the state.
“The PPA has always been reminding the people of the state how we have been living with this defective act, which is hollow and empty and does not hold anything worthwhile for the indigenous people in terms of ownership rights over its land, rivers, forests and minerals,” Jerang said.
“Now that both the Centre and the state are ruled by the same political party, there could not have been a better opportunity to initiate a fresh dialogue with the Centre on the long-pending issue,” he said.
Jerang said the party has also been demanding that the state be provided with similar constitutional rights extended to people in states like Nagaland and Mizoram.
The Statehood Day should be an occasion to introspect on the strength and viability of the continued relevance of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) 1873, as well, he said.
“With doubts and fear of the Citizenship Amendment Act looming large, it is time that the people of the state speak in unison for the BEFR to be given the status of a Parliamentary act rather than continuing to live with the British-made regulation,” Jerang added. (PTI)