A translation of the 60-page Hindi note written by the former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Kalikho Pul on August 8, 2016, one day before he committed suicide.
The Hindi original may be accessed at The Wire‘s Hindi site
Mere Vichaar / My Views
1. Birth – I was born [in 1969] into a poor, backward family. All my life I have faced adversity and endured wrenching sorrow; on many an occasion I have triumphed over my tribulations, too. My destiny had harsh misfortunes written in it from birth itself. For most people, the love and care of parents is a given as is the learning and wisdom imbibed from them. But the death of my mother, when I was 13-months-old, deprived me of her sheltering love. When I was six, my father, too, passed away. I have no one I can call my own. I have always been deprived of the love of parents and family.
2. I came into this world alone and I will leave this world alone. I believe that every individual comes out of his mother’s womb without anything, and departs the same way. If every individual could truly understand that, there would never be any strife in the name of religion, caste, distinctions of high and low, rich and poor, nor any battles over wealth, land, property, power and prestige.
3. When a human is born, he does not bring with him a name, caste, religion, community, language, region, wealth, property. But today’s human is increasingly losing sight of this reality. He is ever prepared to kill or be killed for these things. In the process he forgets the eternal truth that he is merely a soul. I have always looked at life as a mirror reflecting truth.
4. I know well that there is nothing in this world that is mine – apart from one’s body, that is. The clothes one wears, the possessions in one’s house, money, wealth, cars, land, power and position – the things over which we fight to establish our right – do not belong to me in any way.
That which is mine today, was someone else’s yesterday
And shall become another’s day after
Change is the only rule of the world.
But change should be according to rule and in the right manner.
5. I learnt to face the challenges of life from childhood itself, be it for bread or for my rights. As a child I walked miles to collect firewood from the forest for one meal. Trapped in poverty and helplessness I have laboured as a carpenter for a daily wage of Rs 1.50, earning Rs 45 per month. I have kept those tools of carpentry with me to this day.
6. Education – During childhood I was unable to attend day school regularly. Along with my carpentry work I managed to study at the adult education centre, Walla. Seeing my hard work and dedication, the school administration put me through a test and admitted me directly into class VI. When I was attending day school, between Class VI and VIII, I took up casual employment, studying during the day and working as a chowkidar at night. The job required me to raise the national flag at 5 am and lower it at 5 pm. For this I earned a monthly income of Rs 212.
7. Being a contractor – My very first job as a contractor involved the construction of one OBT [Editor’s note: ‘ordinary basha type’ construction of bamboo and wood] house for Rs 400, after which I built many roads, government housing and bridges. By the time I reached Class XI-XII, I owned a Gypsy and four trucks which I ploughed into my work.
7.1 By the time I reached college, my business had expanded considerably – I had my own conveyance, servants and also a small RCC [reinforced cement concrete] house with three rooms. Despite the fact that I have worked in one or other ministerial position for 23 years, I have not added a single room to that house. [Apart from this] I have a small house in Khupa, built in the 1990s with a personal loan from the State Bank of India, Tinsukia, and a house in Hayuliang, constructed with a personal loan from the State Bank of India, Tezu.
7.2 Before becoming an MLA, I owned a saw-cum-veneer mill as well, which brought me an annual income of Rs 46 lakh. I had become a crorepati in my student life itself but I was never arrogant on that account. God is my witness that I have never considered wealth, bungalows, cars, servants, power and position as an entitlement. I have always believed that my duty lies in the protection of humanity and service of the poor. I continue to think so to this day.
7.3. I say with pride that I am a self-made man. But I have never displayed any conceit about it. I have always used my wealth to help the poor, the helpless, orphaned and needy. At present, I sponsor the education of 96 students, taking care of their needs on an annual basis as well.
7.4 When I joined politics on December 26,1994, the very next day I surrendered my two trading licenses at the DC [district collector] office. Now that I had entered politics, I wanted to keep it separate from business. I never wanted to enter politics; I was compelled by people to take the plunge. People usually join politics to further their interests, but if someone were to embrace it with integrity, there is no better field of activity for service and constructive work. What can be better than a scenario where a politician’s reference, phone call or proposal in the assembly could help society and fulfill people’s needs?
7.5. In 2007, when there was an opportunity for me to become chief minister, I had declined.
7.6 In 2011 once again I was offered a chance to stake my claim to the chief ministerial post, and again I declined because I knew that my fellow legislators and ministers would not let me work as per rules and regulations and in accordance with the constitution.
7.7. When, for the third time [in February 2016], an opportunity for me to become chief minister presented itself, I accepted it, spurred by my desires and dreams. My effort was to take my backward state and its poor people forward – provide good roads and transport, a regular supply of clean, potable water, a good standard of education, efficient and free public health services, continuous 24-hour power supply, a peaceful and safe atmosphere for people of every caste and community, a better standard of living and income, prosperity and development for all, and well-being in every household. Keeping these concerns in mind and to bring these objectives to fruition, I have worked hard, body and soul, to take my state to greater heights and ensure benefits for its people. Perhaps my fellow ministers and legislators did not find this agreeable; they must be going by a different definition of what it means to be a minister or legislator. This was the reason why in the first place I had sought to maintain a distance from politics.
7.8. In a political career of 23 years spanning various ministerial positions, I have tried to make every possible contribution towards the state’s progress – in my constituency and across the state. But these accomplishments were not noticed by many. In over two decades I have worked with many chief ministers. My experiences told me that they did not work to clear-cut plans and were not able to prioritise properly. They always took their decisions based on their political calculations, turning a blind eye to the interests of the people. Legislators and ministers were invariably busy protecting each other’s interests.
7.9 My definition of being a leader is not limited to ensuring benefits solely for one’s family, kinsmen and friends. Ministers, legislators and senior officials are where they are not to help each other; they are chosen to work for the overall development of the state and service of the poor. But in all my years of politics I have seen politicians do just the opposite.
7.10. In my tenure of four-and-a-half months as chief minister I sacrificed my comfort and time with my family to work round the clock for the welfare of the people. I have upheld rajdharma in the true sense. Moreover, I created more than 11,000 posts in the departments of health, education and law enforcement, to be filled in the most transparent and impartial manner. I had submitted Plan and non-Plan funds in a rightful, planned manner. I had it conveyed to ministers that they were to refrain from taking money to arrange transfers, postings, promotions and appointments within the state. Perhaps that irked them. I had also given instructions that whether it was Plan funds, non-Plan funds, contract work, tenders or bill payments, no commissions should be allowed. Perhaps that also irked them.
8. A state with a population of 14-15 lakh elects 60 MLAs. From them, 12 are chosen to be ministers. The way I think, along with possessing a good education, good leadership and liberal thinking, those 60 MLAs should also be good human beings for whom serving the poor is their religion, humanity their creed, and the welfare of the people their duty. Our politicians need to rise above considerations of family, community, caste and religion. But there seems to be a complete paucity of such political leaders today, for every politician is busy lining his pockets, thinking more about himself, his family and relatives than about public good. To see this has caused me immense anguish. This is the sole reason for the state’s backwardness. Ministers and legislators are hand in glove with each other to forward their self-interest. The chief minister is busy pandering to important politicians, officials and businessmen. In such a situation, what will happen to the state of Arunachal, its society and people?
8.1. No attention is paid to streamline systems, be it roads, water and power supply, law and order, education, health and cleanliness because of which the ordinary man looks at politicians with suspicion. Here every MLA wants to become a minister, that too in the works department where they can have a fat source of income. Everyone wants to have more and more money in hand. Politicians and MLAs have virtually made it into a profession. This is the reason why governments keep changing in Arunachal Pradesh, the consequences of which are borne by the ordinary man; the state also suffers. When a government changes, many plans and programmes also get changed, and this obstructs the path and pace of progress. This should never happen. I am saddened by all this. I want to make the people aware and conscious so that they are able to understand and debate these issues, alter their modes of thinking, style of functioning, demeanour and policies – so that we can bring to fruition our desire for a golden future for our state and country.
8.2. Today, the people must ask ministers and legislators to how they managed to amass such wealth, land and property, houses and cars in such a short time. The people should be able to spot corruption and ask whether becoming a legislator or minister certifies politicians to make money or provides them access to a note-printing machine? I believe the people are supreme and they should know the truth.
9. Dorjee Khandu [Editor: chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh from 2007 till his death in a helicopter crash in April 2011] was an ordinary soldier of the Khandu Sena. Even after becoming a legislator he had hardly anything. But when he became minister for relief then he used official funds to line his own pockets.
9.1. When he became power minister, he made money by auctioning off rivers and water courses under hyrdro project schemes throughout Arunachal.
9.2. After this, he engineered the dismissal of Gegong Apang [Editor: in 2007] and himself became chief minister.
9.3. He owned palatial houses and bungalows in Tawang, Itanagar, Guwahati, Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru as well as many farm houses, hotels and commercial estates. Today, people say that Dorjee Khandu amassed over Rs 1700 crore of wealth and property. But he is no more, so of what use was this wealth? One cannot buy life with it nor can one take this wealth to the next world. What I mean is that it is sufficient for everyone to earn as much through hard work as is destined and adequate for one’s needs.
9.4. On social media (Facebook and WhatsApp) it is being said that Pema Khandu [Editor: Son of Dorjee Khandu and, since, July 2016, the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh] has Rs 1700 crore in cash, and it is being asked from where he has got it.
9.5. It is for the people to think about what he possessed before becoming a minister and what he owns today. After all, he did not own a money minting machine or factory, nor did he have access to Kuber’s treasure. Then where did so much money come from?
9.6. This money belongs to the people, and it is on the strength of this money that those who strut around as ministers intimidate them, making the public run after them. It is imperative that the people demand answers and a thorough investigation of this matter.
9.7. The entire expense – the amount was around Rs 90 crore – for the Supreme Court case was borne by Nabam Tuki and Pema Khandu. The judgment of the court went against me.
9.8. In the aforesaid case, I too was approached on phone with an offer of getting an order in my favour for a sum of Rs 86 crore. But my conscience would not allow it. I did not indulge in corruption, I did not earn money [through ill-gotten means], nor did I have a desire to drag the state into a deep mess, so why would I misuse the money rightfully belonging to the government and the people to retain my power? The consequences are there for all of you to see.
9.9. Not just today but for years, huge amounts of money have been going to Tawang in the name of development. But those funds have been misused by politicians to line their pockets.
- From 2005, a lot of money has gone into the Relief Fund. The public can get information about it through RTI queries. A survey of the project will show that nothing has been done.
- Sizeable funds have come for promoting tourism.
- Considerable funds have come for urban development.
- Substantial funds have come for the power sector, too. In 2010-2011, in the name of the Kitpi Hydro project a sum of Rs 27 crore was raised through LOC [line of credit] without any sanctions or without any work on ground and without raising any invoices. That sum was embezzled.
- Similarly, in the name of the Khantang and Mukto hydro project, a sum of more than Rs 70 crore was raised by means of false invoices and embezzled.
- At the root of the PDS scam are Nabam Tuki and Dorjee Khandu. They are the ones who started it.
– During Gegong Apang’s chief ministerial tenure, the PDS system met all its obligations at an annual cost of Rs 61 lakh. Gegong Apang wanted to improve the system but everyone ganged up to trap him.
– When the government was formed, Nabam Tuki became the food and civil supply minister. He was the one who started the practice of head load [Editor: distribution of PDS food grain through head load carriage] in the state.
-Within just a year the work of the PDS was increased to Rs 68 crore, and in the following year to Rs 164 crore. This made the Central government suspicious of the state government and it instructed the FCI [Food Corporation of India] to conduct an inquiry and audit. When it came to light that the state government was at fault, the Central government stopped the funds earmarked for payment…
– The PDS was a GoI scheme and the funds earmarked for it are channeled through the FCI. The payments were not made from the state government’s funds.
– When Dorjee Khandu became chief minister [Editor: in 2007], he advised the PDS contractors to file a case against his own government, and also helped them.
– With regard to this case in the fast track court, sessions court, high court and Supreme Court, the state government often deliberately set out to be defeated. Under Dorjee Khandu’s leadership, the state government knowingly did not submit authentic records/documents and information. Many files and records were erased. For a 50% share, Dorjee himself helped the private parties to get a court decree against the state government, and the first PDS payment was released during his tenure.
– Until the time (November 30, 2011) I was finance minister and in spite of the court decree, I and the Setong Sena did not release the payment.
– It was for the express purpose of releasing the PDS payment that Nabam Tuki removed me from the finance ministry.
– I was immediately replaced by Chowna Mein as finance minister and within four days, on November 4, 2011, Nabam Tuki and Chowna Mein released the payment for the head load PDS for a 50% share.
– For the first time in the 23 years of my political life I witnessed the release of payment on the basis of a photocopy of a PDS invoice. Such a thing never happens in any other state.
– The PDS payment released was to the tune of over Rs 600 crore, made out from the state’s Development Fund whereas it was a GoI scheme, and the GoI, having detected a scam, had not advanced a single paisa to the state government.
– The main culprits behind the PDS scam are none other than Dorjee Khandu, Pema Khandu, Nabam Tuki and Chowna Mein.
– When I took over as chief minister, I had the matter investigated in a bid to save the state government. My government filed a case against the FCI as well as GoI and also submitted a review petition in the Supreme Court. I deeply regret that I could not save the state government in this case owing to the fact that all the former ministers, chief ministers and officials ganged up to do away with the relevant files and documents. The chief secretary, secretary, directors and officers stand to go to prison in this case.
– Until now, the genuine contractors who submitted proper tenders and worked well to handle the PDS land route and transport rice right up to the fair price shops, have not been paid.
– On the other hand is Pema Khandu, whose name has figured in the PDS scam, about which, even today, cases are under way in the high court and Supreme Court.
- The names of Dorjee Khandu and Pema Khandu also figure in the SGSY [Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana] rice scam. The case is under way in the Supreme Court. Had Dorjee Khandu been alive, he would have been in prison today. Even though Pema Khandu is the chief minister, he will find himself in prison before long. The SGSY scheme was fraudulent from the word go because not a single grain of rice reached the villagers; the rice was sold off in Assam. The fact that false transport bills were created for the transport of rice that never was, was yet another level of fraud. This father-son duo has perpetrated scams within scams.
- If any ordinary individual were to ask Pema Khandu questions such as how much rice came from the Centre under this scheme, who were the beneficiaries, when was the rice consignment delivered, who got it, and how much money was made through this scam, I can guarantee that he will not have a single answer. He has just one refrain, namely that he has a lot of money and there are a lot of people after it, but it is important for the public to realise that all that money has been made through scams.
It has become somewhat of a Congress policy to accord precedence to the corrupt, wrong-doers and fraudsters in leadership positions, so that they connive to loot the exchequer in order to send it up to the Congress high command.
9.10 Such people have not been touched because legislators and ministers want chief ministers like P.K Thongun, Gegong Apang, Dorjee Khandu, Nabam Tuki and Pema Khandu, against whom there are cases under way in the high court and Supreme Court, because these are the very people who can bribe officials, the judiciary.
9.11. During my chief ministerial tenure I ensured regular funds for every district under SIDF, RE and NP [non-Plan]. In spite of this, Pema Khandu and his two brothers sought an emergency fund of Rs 6 crore for hydro project maintenance, which was given to them. These funds had not even been touched when they sought more funds in the name of flood relief. They asked for another Rs 10 crore. Rs 10 crore was the sum marked for flood relief in the entire state but even then I gave the largest amount of Rs 6 crore for Tawang.
9.12. In a small state like Arunachal Pradesh, we had just Rs 51 crore in the NDRF, from which funds were to be disbursed across 20 districts and among 60 MLAs as per need. Many districts were in need of flood relief. I had to be even-handed in my approach towards every district and all the MLAs. At that juncture Pema Khandu and his brothers asked me for Rs 100.88 crore. Explaining the circumstances prevailing in the state I reasoned with them, but they became angry and made their move against me.
9.13. I would like to disclose one more thing, namely that Pema Khandu had a hand in the firing incident that took place on May 2, 2016 in Tawang. Pema Khandu did not allow bail to be given the arrested Lama. The phone conversation between the DC and SP Tawang has a mention of Pema Khandu. He had put pressure on the DC, ADC and magistrate to withhold bail in the shooting incident that happened in Tawang. Pressure was exerted on me and the chief secretary as well to refrain from taking action against the officials. Regardless, we took action against the concerned officials. This may have irked them. So many people were killed during this incident. Many of the severely injured are still being treated in Shillong and Guwahati. I personally met the families of those who died and also the ones who were injured, in Tawang, Shillong and Guwahati, making every possible effort to help them. But the incident left Pema Khandu untouched. It is for the people to reflect and decide who is right and who is wrong.
10. Nabam Tuki – From MLA to minister and chief minister, Nabam Tuki covered the ground in a very short span of time. Before becoming a legislator he had nothing; today he owns land and property in Itanagar-Naharlagun, palatial bungalows, farm houses and land in Kolkata, Delhi and Bengaluru. Photos and video of these properties were put up on social media as well.
10.1. In the hearing against Tuki, the Guwahati high court ruled against him and ordered a CBI probe. However, in the Supreme Court xx xxx xxxx xxxx, xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxxxx xxx xxxxxx, xx xxxxx xx x xx xx xxxxx xxxx, he got a stay and Tuki is moving around freely.
10.2. With regard to the PDS scam in Arunachal, Supreme Court Justice Kabir Altamas decided in favour of the contractors whereas the Central government and FCI, too, held this decision to be wrong.
10.3. From the bank account of xxxxxxxx, Rs 30 lakh were transferred to xxxxx’s account. This fact has been accepted by the Guwahati high court as well, and both the high court and the Supreme Court have a record of this transaction. xxxx xx xxxx xxxxxx, xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx xx xxxxx xxx xxxxxx xxxxx.
10.4. It was during his stint as food and civil supply minister that Nabam Tuki initiated the PDS scam. Despite there being a land route, he invented the need for head load carriage – by showing a 20 km road as 46 km long, and a 40 km road as 90 km long, he embezzled money. From places where rice, sugar and wheat never reached, he concocted invoices. Rice quota earmarked for Kurung Kumay and Subansiri was taken from the FCI base depot and sold in Lakhimpur (Assam). The rice quota meant for Tawang, East Kameng and West Kameng was sold in Tezpur, Assam. The rice quota meant for East-West-Upper Siang was sold in Dhemaji, Assam. The same invoice was doctored 6-7 times to extract money. In a state where Rs 61 lakh sufficed for the annual PDS rice quota, expenditure rose to Rs 168 crore annually in Tuki’s time.
10.5. By passing off old projects as new and by showing photographs, Tuki scammed the Relief Fund to the tune of 70%. He misused the funds and misled the public and the Central government. In this connection a PIL is being heard in the Guwahati high court. By perpetrating such schemes in the state he augments his wealth, which enables him to buy xxxxx, the Congress high command and the media. The people are silent onlookers.
10.6. Of the non-Plan [funds] allocated in the state, 60% was withdrawn and misused because of which very many centrally sponsored schemes continue to be in the doldrums, and because of which the state faced a continuous problem of overdraft in the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. As a result the salaries of public servants, wages, TA/DA, MR [medical reimbursement] bills, GPF/NPS [General Provident Fund/National Pension Scheme], student stipends and contractors’ payments could not be paid in time. Still, government employees, students, contractor and the public endured their travails, did not speak out against the government or show the courage to oppose what was happening. This made the corrupt more audacious, spurring them on to more corrupt acts.
10.7. The entire fund of TFC [Thirteenth Finance Commission] has been misused.
10.8. The SPA [Special Plan Assistance] fund too has been misused; work is at a standstill.
10.9. The SCA [Special Compensatory Allowance] fund has also been misused.
10.10. The state hoodwinked an innocent public by stating that there are funds in the Civil Deposit. When I became chief minister, the first thing I did was to have the matter examined, whereupon it came to light that there was no money there.
10.11. Where Dorjee Khandu would take 60% commission/bribe for Relief fund and non-Plan funds, Tuki increased it by 10%, bringing up his commission to 70%, thereby looting the state coffers.
10.12. These are the reasons why, for the last three years, the state has faced a problem of overdraft, with the state budget running a deficit.
10.13. Nabim Tuki bagged government contracts in many cities (Ziro, Pasighat, Tezu, Itanagar, Hawai) and many districts in the name of his wife Nabam Nyami. His brother and family members such as Nabam Tagam, Nabam Aka, Nabam Hari and Nabam Mary also bagged various contracts under government projects and programmes, and made the state exchequer bleed.
10.14. Tuki is solely responsible for all the scams and losses in the state. He is the one who pushed the state over the edge and fooled an innocent public.
10.15. On social media (Facebook and WhatsApp) many are asking how he has come to amass such wealth. If one were to look him in the eye and demand the truth, he would not be able to meet one’s gaze or utter one word.
10.16. It is due to the frustration caused by these very antics of Tuki that I and the legislators opposed him in one voice. Despite being a minority government, and with some help from his brother, Speaker Nabam Rebia, he managed to get two MLAs expelled and continued to run his government.
10.17. Despite there being a motion for the Speaker’s impeachment, Nabam Rebia continued in his position whereas action should have been taken within 14 days. Similarly, despite a no confidence motion, Nabam Tuki continued as chief minister even though the governor had asked him to prove his majority. Despite the Guwahati high court’s judgment of January 13, 2016, he remained in the saddle and kept looting the state [exchequer]. It would have been the right thing for him to submit his resignation but he did not do that.
10.18. The governor is the head of a state. It is with the governor’s concurrence that the names of chief minister and ministers are settled. Transfers, postings and appointments too are conducted under his direction. However, he [Tuki] consistently cocked a snook at law, justice and the public.
10.19. In over two decades I have worked with five chief ministers, but have never seen anyone as corrupt as Tuki or a system as venal as his. His government has been behind bandhs, strikes and riots in the state; it has pitted people against one another in the name of caste, religion and region, and engineered conflicts.
10.20. He has treated the government, law, democracy, the constitution, judiciary and public in a cavalier manner. He has always played politics in the name of caste, religion, community, language and region.
10.21. One who has filled his own coffers instead of serving the people must be asked by them about how he came by his land, property and wealth. Did he stumble upon a money minting machine? Strict action should be taken against him, and what is due to the public must be given to it.
11. Chowna Mein [Editor: currently deputy chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, formerly a Congress leader, now in the Bharatiya Janata Party] – Among the important ministers of the state [of Arunachal], he is the most corrupt. In every department that has been under his charge, his name has come under a cloud. I am revealing his true face to the public.
11.1. There was never a practice of money changing hands in the RD [rural development] ministry but he made a beginning by demanding Rs 10 lakh to manage the post of PD (project director). For the post of APO he demanded a bribe of Rs 5 lakh, and at the BDO level a bribe of Rs 3 lakh. He had also fixed a percentage of bribe with the contractors working under the RWD and PMGSY programmes.
11.2. He took bribes for transfers and promotions as well.
- EE – Rs 15 lakh.
- AE – Rs 5 lakh.
- JE – Rs 3 lakh.
11.3. On becoming education minister, Chowna took bribes between Rs 3-4 lakh to appoint individuals to teaching positions, doing away with the interview process.
11.4. In PHE [Public Engineering Health] and PWD also he made a lot of money by charging a sum of Rs 10-15 lakh for transfers and postings.
11.5. In LoC, Chowna Mein demanded money because of which many officials refused to go to the division, angered by him.
11.6. While he was PHE minister in the Jarbam Gamlin government, by brokering a deal of Rs 46 crore under the Relief Fund, within 15 days, with the help of ULFA and other underground forces he succeeded in toppling the Gamlin government.
11.7. During his tenure as PHE minister, Rs 76 crore had come from the Central government towards fulfilling water supply needs, which was misused. A record of it is available with an RTI activist who got out the details.
11.8. Then, after becoming finance minister in the Tuki government, he bestowed the gift of a financial crisis upon the state.
11.9. By putting the Development Fund in non-Plan [expenditure] the Fund was misused, which created the problem of overdraft during his time.
11.10. He invariably chose such departments that were characterised by a large number of transactions. He mostly sought to be in planning, finance and PWD so that he could earn hand over fist. Is the state likely to remain secure under such politicians?
11.11. Today he owns land, property, tea gardens, orange orchards and rubber plantations across the state; practically half the property of Namsai is in his name.
11.12. He also owns palatial bungalows, commercial estates and property in Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru.
11.13. The public must demand an answer from him as to why he misled the state and its people. Being a legislator or minister is not like owning a money making establishment; then how did he come by such wealth? Are these the real leaders of the Congress? [Editor: Since the time this note was written, Chowna Mein has joined the BJP]
12. Karikho Kri – This gentleman [Editor: Karikho Kri is an MLA with the Congress party] was once an MLA from Tezu. Before becoming a legislator he did not even have a house of his own. He used to stay with his elder brother who was a PHE engineer. For his first assembly election campaign he went everywhere on an old two wheeler. Within 3-4 years of becoming a legislator, he owned half of Tezu, including land and property. Now he owns big bungalows, fancy cars and sports an affluent lifestyle. In addition he has property in Itanagar, Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru. But no one asks him where all these riches came from. People run after him for his wealth. It seems that to become a legislator is akin to winning the jackpot in a lottery draw, for millionaires are made overnight. There are many such legislators in the state who get busy fleecing the state.
When the Supreme Court order came, several MLAs demanded Rs 15 crore from me in return for saving my government. However, I had not become chief minister to make money for myself or for others; I had done so to save and defend the government’s coffers in the interest of the public. As chief minister I wanted to take forward necessary schemes at the right time and in the right manner, to direct progress in a way that benefited the people. Whenever there is a political crisis in the state, such [corrupt] legislators make hay, demanding Rs 10-15 crore from both sides. In doing so they are auctioning themselves. How long will the state go on like this? The public must demand an explanation from legislators and launch a movement against them. Today’s legislators are all mired in corruption, they have no right to be sitting in the assembly. The public should demand their resignation so that they can elect a new and better government that benefits the state.
[At the bottom of the page, scribbled in pencil – It pains me that I was unable to accomplish my dear friend PD Sona ji’s demand for Rs 10 crore in cash; I was only able to give him Rs 4 crore on July 11, 2016.]
13.1. After thinking through issues and armed with a strong will and clear objectives, if we work with transparent policies and focused schemes aimed at development and serving the poor, we can achieve a great deal.
13.2. In the four-and-a-half months of my chief ministerial tenure, the work I accomplished is an example of how we can take the state forward. But my fellow legislators did not allow me to work; they will not allow anybody to work thus.
13.3. I say this because in my political career of 25-30 years this is precisely what I have seen legislators do. It is impossible to work with such corrupt and crooked legislators and political leaders. These people can never change or clean up their act. There is a crying need to teach them a lesson and nudge them towards realisation [of what they have done]. The time has come for the people to demonstrate their strength so that politicians never again think of treating them casually.
13.4. I am writing in this vein because a state where the government changes 3-4 times in four months stands to lose out in ways that cannot be imagined. The same public, in the absence of understanding, often fetes new chief ministers and ministers whereas to me that is a betrayal of the public.
13.5. Hence my fervent appeal to the people that they take this [my] message and this sacrifice seriously to demand accountability from their leaders, mount protests against them in villages, cities and districts, and call for the state to be put under President’s Rule so that it is centrally administered like before. All this so that the state develops, the people get what they are entitled to, and there is peace, happiness and well-being.
13.6. Let fresh elections be held on time, providing an opportunity to new faces, well-educated, progressive individuals and those who have struggled in life, so that the poor may benefit.
14. Congress – I joined the Congress when I was a student. I have been part of it for 33 years. There was a reason why I joined the Congress.
14.1. It was a time of principles, a time of ideas, and patriotism. On March 7, 1986 when Shri Rajiv Gandhi visited Tezu, I too was there to welcome him with a tricolour. I gifted him the flag and he told me to study well and become a good man. He made three points about Arunachal in his speech that day:
- Arunachal is an inalienable part of India.
- Delhi may be far but you [the people of Arunachal] are not far from my heart.
- We send Rs 100 from the Centre but only Rs 25 reaches the state; we shall fight corruption.
14.2. Deeply impacted by these views, I joined the Congress. From 1995, I have been consecutively elected from Hayuliang, with the highest margin of victory in the state. However, it saddens me to think that this Grand Old Party needs corrupt individuals and criminals, not those who want to serve the people. Today, politicians are not servants [of the people] but agents and touts intent on doing business to further their own interests.
14.3. Then there used to be debates on principles, policies and ideas. Today, the focus is on dividing the people in the name of reservation, funds, religion and region to gain their votes. The helplessness of the poor has become a playground of cynical politics. That too was a phase; this too is a phase.
14.4. In 2008, on Dorjee Khandu’s say-so and on account of my own helplessness I myself went to xxxxxx xxxxx four times to reach him the money – a total of Rs 37 crore.
14.5. In 2009, when the state received an advance loan of Rs 200 crore, on Dorjee Khandu’s say-so, I arranged for Rs 6 crore to be sent to xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx, then Union xxxxxxx minister, at the following address xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx.
14.6. In 2015-2016 I was in Delhi for 13 months during which time I met the following Congress leaders:
- I met Narayanswamy 13 times
- I met Kamal Nath four times
- I met Salman Khurshid five times
- I met Ghulam Nabi Azad five times
14.7. But Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi did not meet me. While Salman Khurshid and Ghulam Nabi Azad heard me out and tried to help me, xxxxxxxxxxxxx demanded Rs 110 crore for the party fund and for himself. He conveyed this message through his personal staff xxxxxxxx xxxxx. I was called to Sagar Ratna (South Indian restaurant) several times so that the demand could be conveyed. Xxxxxx xxxxxx asked for Rs 9 crore. When I met xxxxx xxxxx, he too asked for Rs 130 crore, which was conveyed through xxxxx xxxxx, Mr. xxxxxx and xxxxx xxxxx.
14.8. All these instances grieved me. For days I remained plunged in thought, overcome by anxiety. The party spilled much venom against me but even so, and after winning three court cases, I continue to be associated with the Congress. In truth, I have seen the real face of the Congress and now I have no desire to remain either in the party or in politics. The titans of Congress did not follow their rajadharma then; they are not doing so now. It was my misfortune that I walked in darkness for so many years and was associated with a party that took my blood, sweat and toil and gave me back nothing but tears. I am ashamed to say it but the entire Congress structure is corrupt.
15. Law – The importance of the rule of law and justice is uppermost in a democracy. If there were no law or judiciary, democracy would not be able to function. The role of the judiciary is to secure the rights of the people, the poor and the helpless.
15.1. But what I have seen happening is the exact opposite. I have witnessed the brokers of justice; I have seen that justice is for sale. Today, the law itself has assumed the role of an influence peddler to broker justice.
15.2. The state government, the FCI as well as the Central government stated that the PDS scandal was a scam but even then the Supreme Court, after letting the accused walk, directed that full payments be made to them. The state treasury was virtually emptied out. Xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx x xxxxx xx Rs 36 crore xx xxxx x xxxxx xxxxxxx, xxxx xxx xxx xxxxxx xx xxx xx-xxxxxxx xx xxx xxxxxxxx xxxx. On earlier occasions, too, xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxxxxxxx.
Present court matters
15.3. In the assembly session of December16-17, 2015, the Nabam Tuki government was removed after losing a vote of confidence.
15.4. Whereupon Nabmam Tuki returned with a stay order from court. His Speaker, Nabam Rebia, also remained in his position. So much had transpired but we did not form the government.
15.5. On January 13 , the Guwahati high court dismissed the stay as well as the petition. Then Nabam Tuki knocked at the door of the Supreme Court. His government continued.
15.6. Even after the Guwahati High Court verdict we did not form the government.
15.7. Soon the law and order situation started deteriorating. There were incidents in every corner of the state. So much so that even the governor found himself at the receiving end of discourtesy. Peace vanished, there were daily strikes, and a financial crisis reared its head in the state. The situation went from bad to worse.
15.8. The 16-17 December session of the assembly was not considered legitimate; in the previous six months there hadn’t been even one assembly session. Due to this, a constitutional crisis also raised its head in the state.
15.9. Seeing the rising graph of incidents, the state was brought under President’s rule on 26 January  and the Nabam Tuki government was removed.
15.10. On February 19, President’s rule was lifted. With the support of 33 legislators, we staked a claim to form the government. The governor invited us to form the government, asking us to prove our majority within 10 days.
15.11. Within a week, i.e., on February 25, we proved our majority on the floor of the house.
15.12. In no way was our government formed by flouting the law – we worked in accordance with the constitution, the law, dictates of justice and ethics.
15.13. The salient points of the judgment delivered by a five judge bench of the Supreme Court [on July 13, 2016] were as follows:
- It rejected the advancing [of the assembly session date] by the governor
- Rejected the governor’s message
- Keeping the above two points, it rejected the assembly session of December 16-17, 2015.
- Keeping the above three points in mind, it rejected the decision of the assembly [to remove the Tuki government]
15.14. The Supreme Court judgment did not say anything that could be construed as being against my government. The Supreme Court bench did not say anything about the imposition of President’s Rule in the state either. Neither did it say anything about the floor test conducted during the seventh session of the sixth legislative assembly. The budget session, the eighth session of the sixth legislative assembly, took place after this and the budget was passed, but the Supreme Court did not comment on it.
15.15 The Supreme Court judgment delivered in this case was absolutely wrong, for the laws enshrined in our Constitution are well known.
- Article 174 – The Governor shall from time to time summon the House or each House of the Legislature of the state to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit.
- Article 175 – The Governor may send messages to the House or Houses of the Legislature of the state, whether with respect to a Bill then pending in the Legislature or otherwise, and a House to which any message is so sent shall with all convenient dispatch consider any matter required by the message to be taken into consideration.
- Article 163 – The chief minister or council of ministers can take advice from the governor. If any dispute arises, the decision of the Governor shall be final. The Governor’s decision cannot be challenged in any court.
15.16. In the event of a government falling in any state or a minority government plunging into a crisis, these laws elaborated upon in our constitution give the governor the right to summon the legislative assembly and instruct the chief minister to prove his majority.
15.17. This was not solely about removing Nabam Tuki; it was also about a motion to move a resolution for the removal of the Speaker Nabam Rebia. Knowing this, Nabam Rebia, instead of calling the session within a month, summoned the assembly more than two months later, which was unprecedented. By doing this he was giving his brother Nabam Tuki enough time to buy legislators.
15.18. The motion for moving the resolution should be after 14 days from the date when a notice of the resolution is received. Keeping this in mind, the governor decided to advance the assembly session. The governor consistently functioned within the ambit of law; he was not at fault.
15.19. After being at the receiving end of the kind of verdict that the Supreme Court delivered, I have lost faith in the judiciary. While the legislators of Arunachal are for sale and so too the Congress, it grieves me to think the unthinkable – that even xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xx xxx xxxxx xx xxx xxxxxx/xxxx xxxxxx.
15.20. I and my associates were contacted several times to say that the decision could be made in my favour xxxxxxxx for xxxxxx Rs 86 crore. I am an ordinary man. I don’t have the kind of money that is xxxx xx xxx xxx xxxxx xx xxxx xxxx xxxx, nor do I want to do so.
15.21. The chief minister’s position exists to serve the people and ensure their safety. I have no wish to xxxx that position. That is precisely why I did not approach the court again or file another application.
15.22. xxxxxxx xxxxx, xxx xxxxx xxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxx got in touch with my associates and demanded Rs 49 crore.
15.23. xxxxx xxxxx, xxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx, demanded Rs 37 crore from me.
15.24. xxxxxx xxxxx – He has his own lobby in the Supreme Court. Lawyers and xxxxx xxxx xxxxx xx x xxxxx xxxx xxxx and xxxx xxxx xxxxx.
Travelling to Guwahati by chartered plane, within half an hour Kapil Sibal got a Keep in Abeyance order from the court, whereas earlier the court had turned down this case.
Along with Prashant Tiwari I met Kapil Sibal four times and told him the reality of Nabam Tuki.
When I met xxxxx xxxxx at his residence (at xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx, xxxxxx xxxxx) he had demanded Rs 9 crore from me, Rs 4 crore in advance. xxxx xx xxxxx xxx xxx xx xxxxx xxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx.
At the Guwahati High Court we won this case where the Congress did not exert influence over lawyers xxx xxxxx.
Later we came to know that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had xxxx xxxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxxx xxxx to fight Nabam Tuki’s case again.
Xxxx xxxxx was the one who by xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx plotted the entire game, notching up a false victory for Nabam Tuki. Today he is x xxxxxx xx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx. In my entire political career I have observed that the xxxxx is xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx. They are all in it together.
15.25. I was contacted up till the night of July 12 and told that if I gave an advance sum of Rs 9 crore, xxx xxxx xxxxx xxxx put off for a month; upon receiving the remaining Rs 77 crore, xxxx xxxxx would be xx xxx xxxxxx.
15.26. I did not pay heed to them, nor did I consent to give money. Seeing the faltering process I decided not to react to the judgment, nor did I submit an application for a relook at the verdict, because I knew that xxxxx xxxx xxx xxxx xxx xxx xxx.
15.27. Up until today, i.e., July 25, xxx xxxxx xxxxxxxx has been in touch with me on behalf of xxxxxx xxxxxx, talking about a change in xxx xxxxxxx. When and how a petition is to be filed, he has already figured it out. For this he has demanded Rs 31 crore.
15.28. The country and its people must identify these brokers of justice and merchants of corruption. And, guided by their inner voice of conscience, they must sift truth from falsehood and right from wrong on the scales of justice. It is necessary for the government to keep an eye on xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx and even bring a law that equips it to challenge the Supreme Court’s decisions so that xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx is rooted out. Such a law that enables the good of the country and the people should be made as soon as possible.
15.29. Today in our country, lawyers xxx xxxxx, xxxxx, xxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx. xxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xx xxx xx xxxx xx xxx xxx spin and xxxx a xxxx xxxx. The truth is bitter, but to this extent? I had no inkling. Facing one bitter truth after another my soul trembles. I have lost faith in the law. I worry about the country and wonder what lies in store for its innocent public. Friends, whatever I have enumerated here is cent-per-cent accurate. These expressions have come forth from the depths of my soul. At no point have I resorted to exaggeration or sensationalism, nor have I played around with facts.
15.30. What we used to see on the film screen or read in stories, we are witnessing in reality today – which proves that money speaks. Wherever there is an incident, as the process of complaint, inquiry, court case and hearing gets into motion, the situation and circumstances don’t change. Then why do the opinions and decisions of judges change? It is the same constitution that is kept in the lower court, session court, high court and Supreme Court, and is available outside court precincts as well. Apart from lawyers and judges, people from other walks of life also read and understand it.
15.31. When the text of law does not change, how come the decisions of judges change? Why does the verdict of victory and defeat in a case change time and again? The changing verdict tells us xxxx xxxxx xxxx xxx xxxx. But the truth is not altered by these decisions – the truth is eternal, unchanging; even god cannot negate it.
15.32. During my childhood itself I won the love and trust of villagers; from my student life onwards I have won every election I have contested. Even today I have not seen the face of defeat in my political career: in 1995, after winning my first assembly election I was made a minister. I have worked hard in every position that I have been assigned, with not a whiff of scandal attached to my name. In my short life I have made a considerable contribution to the development of society, community, region and state, in the service of the people.
15.33. Hence I have no regrets or sorrows in life about what has come my way. It is for this reason that I don’t look upon the Supreme Court verdict as my defeat. I know that if I choose to file a clarification, review petition or SLP, I am sure to win. But xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xx Rs 80-90 crore xxxx xxxxx xxxxx and that is why I do not want to do any such thing. My message to the innocent and naïve public of this state and country is simple and crystal clear.
16. I appeal to my beloved people to always cast their vote for public good. Never succumb to pressure and kill your future; never let any strongman make you cower. For the sake of some liquor and money that is distributed during election time, do not push your future and posterity into quicksand; never compromise on your rights. Before casting your vote if you look at your children once and think about their future, I guarantee that your vote will go to the right candidate. The public should be able to see through the candidates’ hollow election slogans. When the candidates ask for votes, people must quiz them on issues of right and wrong and to the extent possible, cast their votes after getting to know somewhat about their past life, their ideas, values and conduct.
16.1. It has often come to my notice that honest people fight shy of participating in the electoral process. They think that one vote makes no difference, which is fallacious thinking. Each and every vote is as precious as a diamond because it contains that strength of democracy which is capable of rooting out despots and strongmen.
16.2 It is up to the people to decide. It is their duty to cast their vote in favour of the candidate who thinks of their welfare; it is immaterial which community, religion or caste they belong to. The public should elect candidates who are well-educated, principled, grounded in values and patriotic ideas, have faced hardships and struggled hard to come up in life, and are capable of leading the state and country in the right direction.
17. Students – To students I just want to say that they should pursue their studies with dedication, hard work and integrity. Consider your studies as worship and harness your devotion and strength to achieve your goal. The knowledge and understanding gained in your student life will be with you for the rest of your life. You should use the time at your disposal to acquire knowledge, share knowledge and immerse yourself in knowledge.
17.1. At this stage you are like an unbaked pot of clay that can be shaped any which way; any attempt to give a shape to it after it has been baked will break the pot. Hence you must recognise the importance of this phase in shaping your life in inspiring ways. Peep into the life of any great personality and you will discover that they have faced the maximum struggles in their student life. Today you must think solely about your career and your goal to achieve which you must be unstinting in your efforts
17.2. At this stage you should take care to be at a remove from politics, and business. If you gravitate towards these two things, they are likely to divert your attention, making you lag behind in your studies.
17.3. Our country has had a long tradition of vidyashrama – the student would leave his home, family and comforts for the rigourous education of an ashram, learning the shastras, the use of weapons, and politics. Today we need a similar educational ethic whereby we allow our children to imbibe, in a way appropriate for them, an understanding of sports, music, the shastras, science, mathematics, and politics. Do not enter politics or get caught up in its web at this stage.
17.4. I see students as a non-political pressure group whose role is to keep an eye on the government, politicians and officials, raising their voice for the benefit of society. If student bodies do not speak out against the machinations of a corrupt government system, who will? Who will show the right way to people and society? Once you have completed your studies you are free to join any professional stream or field.
18. NGOs – The real purpose of running an NGO is to think about the country, kindle awareness among people, reflect upon public good and put forth one’s views on the rights and wrongs of our land. More than the government, it is NGOs that have a crucial role to play with regard to the welfare of society, state and country. An NGO needs to be fuelled by a greater spirit of service than the government. It is important to work with conviction, dedication, hard work, integrity and passion.
18.1. However, most of the NGOs I have come across seem to be more interested in making money, blackmailing officials and embezzling funds meant for the welfare of the people. I have seen social workers leave their work and devote more time to meddling in the work of others. They all have their distinct lobbies with whose help they fleece people, acting as go-betweens who have access to the government and bureaucracy.
18.2. This is precisely why social workers are not respected in the state, nor is their voice heeded. To reclaim your lost image as social workers you need to work unitedly to safeguard humanity and raise your voice against corruption, wrong policies, discrimination, hierarchies of high and low as also against those who perpetrate atrocities on the poor and the backward. I pray that you never falter in your steps while following the path of righteousness.
19. Leaders – While I do not want to give a sermon to political leaders, I would certainly like to communicate the questions that have arisen from my own experiences. To leaders and ministers I would like to say that being in politics means thinking about the public as your family, seeing their problems as your problems and extending all help to them. It is not possible to become a leader without the love, cooperation and blessings of the people.
19.1. During election campaigns, more than the candidates, it is party workers and voters who work extremely hard, propelled by hope. Their families are often split down the middle, and even though matters assume violent proportions sometimes, they do not desert their candidates on the sole hope that their candidate, upon getting elected, would work towards their welfare – provide good roads, uninterrupted supply of clean water, better education and health, jobs for the youth, a better standard of living and economic growth, and uphold the rule of law so that the state does well on development.
19.2. The purpose of entering politics is not to make money but to serve people. If making money is one’s only aim, there is no need to become a political leader. There are many other avenues of earning wealth – through farming, trade, employment, winning government contracts, taking to sports or cultural activities.
19.3. Politics in the true sense is another name for social religion. Its pursuit demands that you sacrifice your comforts and wealth to work for the welfare of every segment of society. It will not do to divide and mislead people in the name of religion, caste, region and language. In fact it is important to ensure that peace is maintained in the interest of preserving our national integrity, social harmony and sovereignty.
19.4. But I am deeply saddened by the fact that in Arunachal Pradesh, those who become leaders forget the people and become self-serving. To fill job vacancies they choose their own family members or relatives or individuals from their caste. After all that, if some posts are left, they offer them to others but for a bribe. But ideally, such jobs should go to those who are needy, poor and backward in every sense of the term. Even if they do offer a position to a poor man, they do not shy away from asking for a bribe. For a price, they manage transfers of officials due to which capable individuals are deprived of an opportunity to show their mettle. To ensure promotions too they ask for bribes.
19.5. When contracts are awarded, legislators and ministers ensure they bag them in the name of their wives or children. If the contract is awarded to someone else, they are sure to ask for their share of the pie. In such a scenario, there is no place for the honest contractor. Consequently, work will never be completed in time nor will its quality be up to the mark.
19.6. In the state, schemes are conceptualised not to meet the needs of the public but to meet the legislators’ desire for making money. They not only decide on tenders beforehand but also on the share coming to those involved.
19.7. While scant progress is made on sanctioned schemes, great progress is made by legislators and ministers in augmenting their wealth. They show a great spirit of cooperation among themselves in swallowing up that wealth. Much before public projects reach fruition, leaders’ edifices shoot up.
19.8. Ideally, once a scheme gets sanctioned, it should take a year for completion; a larger project should take a maximum of two years to be completed.
19.9. In Arunachal, however, one project can take as long as eight to nine years to ensure that legislators and ministers get ample time to line their pockets. Take the instance of the secretariat building, assembly building, the state hospital in Naharlagun, MLA cottages, convention hall – these projects have gone on for more than 11 years. The secretariat building has seen four chief ministers come and go, namely Gegong Apang, Dorjee Khandu, Jarbam Gamlin and Nabam Tuki. Not one of those chief ministers succeeded in getting that project finished. There were scams in each one’s tenure. The Plan fund was increased threefold or fourfold times but the work still remained unfinished.
19.10 During my tenure, with the help of the necessary funds and an ultimatum, I managed to get the secretariat building completed. The offices of the chief minister and ministers are ready to be occupied. Moreover, I employed the same stratagem in trying to get the assembly building and state hospital of Naharlagun completed in time for shifting in August. I invested hard work, passion and energy in this endeavour; it was my duty to do so. I have presented an example of work culture that I hope will be followed in future projects and programmes as well.
19.11. In Anjaw district, which falls in my constituency, I accomplished the construction of 11 micro hydropower projects in time and within the sanctioned amount. Despite the fact that it is a hilly and border region, we made good progress, with the result that the DC headquarter and CO headquarter in the district boasts a 24 hour supply of power today. Contrast this with the fact that the state capital Itanagar and some of the oldest cities of the state, such as Pasighat, Ziro, Aalo and Tezu, still have an insufficient power supply.
19.12 In the Hawai district headquarter, I had got a township water project passed. Completing this Rs 14 crore project in hilly terrain posed a challenge, but the work was completed within two years. Today, two towns (old and new) in the region are enjoying the benefits of this project.
19.13. Prashant Lokhande, secretary planning, and I had got a similar project sanctioned for Tezu. Although the area is a plain, the project is still to be completed while the entire budget of Rs 24 crore has been exhausted. In fact, the funds have been misused. Former MLA Karikho Kri and his brother, an engineer, misused the funds. The people of Tezu continue to experience water problems.
19.14. In the same way, there were many schemes for road improvement in Tezu township, with funds amounting to Rs 29 crore raised in four years from different sources (SPA, TFC, NABARD and non-Plan). There was a misuse of funds, for the roads are yet to be built over and repaired. In many other parts of the state as well, projects were sanctioned in assembly constituencies and towns. In all these cases, the funds were exhausted but the projects remain incomplete.
19.15. But there is no accountability whatsoever anywhere in this state. While legislators and ministers move forward by working hand in glove, few projects are able to move ahead. The consequences are borne by the people and the state which is unable to develop. From chief minister to legislator, they are all corrupt. The state is the ultimate loser.
19.16. In today’s time, people are the worst sufferers of corruption. They see it, suffer it but do not raise their voice against it, even though they are the ones who elect the government. In such a situation, truth is a casualty. It is imperative that the people come together and protest the corruption-ridden system.
19.17. Officials are bound by rules and regulations and structure, and they should go by them. They are appointed to provide amenities to the people. Instead, they cooperate with leaders and officials in high places in a self-serving manner, caving in to pressure. In such a situation who will think about the people? Who will forward their interests? Where will the people go?
19.18. The role of the police and administration is to ensure the safety and security of people’s life and property, extending them every possible assistance. But what they are doing today is fawning over politicians and politicking in their company – working solely for them. What will happen to the people? Who will protect them?
19.19 The judiciary’s role is to determine the truth and punish those who are corrupt and untruthful, be it an official, leader or minister. However the state of affairs is such that from the lower court to the Supreme Court, lawyers xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx. In such a situation what will be the fate of straightforward, innocent, hardworking and cultured people? Who will give them a hearing? That is why it is saddening to see xxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx. Only god can save the people. But god certainly cannot descend to vote in an election or cleanse the corrupt system. I fervently pray to God, bestow understanding on an innocent and naïve public and give it the strength to voice protests against corruption, fight corruption and root out the leaders with corrupt minds.
19.20. When the people at the top leave much to be desired, how can one blame anyone else? Important chief ministers such as Dorjee Khandu, Nabam Tuki, Chowna Mein and Pema Khandu have always been driven by their self-interest.
19.21. I wanted to stamp out corruption, utilise government schemes and public money for development work. I wanted to put my state and its people on par with the other states and ahead of them. Perhaps my fellow legislators did not approve of this line of thinking.
20. I ask, when will the public wake up from its slumber, when will it come to its senses? How long will people be taken in by the leaders’ flashy cars and their lures of liquor and money in return for votes, mistaking their false promises to be the truth? In reality, the public wants to remain in a fool’s paradise, it runs from the truth. It is for the people to decide what they need to do. My job was to tell them the truth, but the decision lies in their hands.
20.1. In the 23 years of my political journey, having graced various ministerial positions, the work that I did for the good of the state and its people in various departments, the work I did in my constituency – perhaps you were not able to see it.
20.2. In the four-and-a-half months of my chief ministerial tenure, whatever work I did was also for the good of the state and the people. It was seen, heard, understood and appreciated by you.
20.3 I congratulate the people of Arunachal and the country, especially the youth for supporting and appreciating the work accomplished by my government on social media – as many as 17 lakh people shared our government’s work, policies, schemes and decisions on platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.
20.4. I have no vested interest in telling you all this. I do not fear anyone. I am not weak and I do not consider this as an act of surrender on my part.
20.5. The sole purpose of putting these concerns out in the open is to awaken the people and make them see the dirty games being played in the state and country, the corrupt acts being perpetrated, and the reality of corruption that has seeped into the system. But people have a short memory, they forget too soon. Keeping this in mind I have taken this step in order to jog public memory, awaken people, reason with them and implore them to ponder these issues. This is also my way of reposing faith in them.
20.6. In my short life I have endured a lot, seen and experienced a lot, struggled a great deal and at times made sacrifices for the happiness of others and benefit of society. I was never defeated, nor did I ever accept defeat.
20.7. I have always taken decisions in the interests of our state and its people. I have surrendered my comforts and peace of mind, time and health, riches, my family and even myself to the people. Every breath and every moment I have sacrificed for the welfare of the people. If even 0.1 per cent realise the intent behind my message and my sacrifices, and are inspired to effect some improvement in their modes of thinking and action – rejecting greed, aggressive pursuit of self-interest and rancour and devoting some time to constructive acts – it would be worthwhile. I want the voice of my heart, my thoughts, experiences and message to reach as many people as possible so that I can reason with you, prod you awake and give you confidence and strength in the fight for truth.
Translated from the Hindi original by Chitra Padmanabhan