Even as the heat and dust of electioneering for November 19 bye-election to Hayuliang Assembly seat is gaining momentum, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has alleged the NEDA government in the state of “deliberately” holding the resignation letter of the Congress candidate who wants to resign from a government post to contest the election.
Public Health Engineering and Water Supply (PHE&WS) department chief engineer Lapalum Kri who, the official candidate of the Congress for the bye-poll, has applied Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) but till date the state government is yet to give its approval, APCC president Padi Richo alleged.
Richo said that Congress high command has approved of Kri’s candidature and accordingly he had applied for VRS on September 5 last requesting the state government to accept it with effect from September 30.
“Surprisingly, the state government is yet to approve of Kri’s VRS request, in spite of getting all the clearances, including vigilance.
On the other hand, resignation of Dasanglu Tulang Pul, the NEDA candidate contesting on BJP ticket, who is a government employee working as WC Meter Reader in the power department was readily accepted by the government,” Richo alleged adding that NEDA is afraid of facing Congress in the by-poll sensing strong public support for the Congress candidate. MORE PTI UPL
The Congress in its representation to the state Chief Electoral Officer said that Kri had submitted a reminder to PHED&WS Commissioner after there was no communication from the authority on October 3 last clearly mentioning that the purpose of submitting the VRS was to contest the bye-election.
The APCC argued that there was no provision in all relevant laws, including CCS where government officials are debarred from obtaining VRS or retirement.
It further stated that by observing the delay tactic by the government, Kri has been left with no other option but to file a petition in the Guwahati High Court.
The state Congress apprised the CEO to request the Chief Secretary to issue VRS to Kri so that he could contest the bye-election, failing which it threatened to launch a series of agitations.
“Such bias by the government speaks volume and people of Hayuliang Assembly Constituency will give a befitting reply in the ensuing by-election” Richo said.
The last date of filing nominations has been fixed on November 2, while scrutiny of papers would be done on November 3 and last date of withdrawal of candidature is November 5. Counting of votes would be done on November 22 next.
The seat fall vacant after former Chief Minister Kalikho Pul committed suicide on August 9 this year. The constituency with a total electorate of 11,003 including 5,508 female voters has 81 polling stations of which three – Kibitho, Aphumna and Taflagam are situated near the international border with China. The highest numbers of electors are in Hayuliang polling station with 955 voters while Malogam polling station has only two voters.