No need to say Arunachal is India’s, says MP

March 4th, 2008 - 12:05 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) There is no need for India to keep reiterating that Arunachal Pradesh is its territory, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from the northeastern state has said. Terming one such statement by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement as “disappointing”, Kiren Rijiju said that such a stand would hurt the state’s interests.

“It has become a fashion for the government to reiterate quite often that Arunachal is an integral part of India. It means the government has doubts about the state being a part of India. By making such statements, the government is compromising with the state’s interests,” the Arunachal West MP told IANS.

Mukherjee told parliament Monday that “the fact Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India has been clearly conveyed to the Chinese side by (India)”.

Rijiju said: “It is a disappointing statement. The government should have faith in the people of Arunachal Pradesh and should maintain a firm stand that leaves no scope for any doubt regarding India’s sovereignty. I am sorry to say that the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has drastically failed in handling the issue of Arunachal Pradesh properly.”

Mukherjee had also said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh in January was to assure “our citizens that the government is mindful of (Arunachal’s) development needs and is ready and willing to assist them through concrete projects.”

The BJP MP is unhappy with this statement too.

“There is a world of difference between what is being said inside the house and what is done at the ground level. The government is hardly doing anything to meet the people’s needs and safeguard the state from ongoing encroachment from China,” he said.

“We need to have solid infrastructure in the border areas to mobilise our troops and increase our dominance. While China has established huge infrastructure on the Arunachal border, the area on our side is inaccessible and poorly developed.

“The people of Arunachal Pradesh are patriotic. They are fully integrated into India. What saddens them is the government’s apathy and that they are slowly and steadily losing land to China,” Rijiju said.

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