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The Rediff Interview/Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu
'We'll defeat any Chinese design to capture our land'
May 10, 2007
Though officials in Beijing and New Delhi have denied the intrusion, people remember the bloody war in the same region in 1962. In later years though, negotiations on boundary disputes have been initiated between India and China, while engaging each other in trade and cultural exchanges quite vigorously.
The sudden eruption of the territorial dispute has revived bitter memories. It is noteworthy that on September 7, 1993, an accord to reduce tensions along the India-China border and to respect the Line of Actual Control was signed.
The National Democratic Alliance's defence minister George Fernandes had accused China of repeated violations of Indian territory, constructing a helipad on Indian territory in the disputed zone, aiding Pakistan's nuclear and missile programmes and stockpiling nuclear weapons in Tibet. With this background the present controversy assumes significance.
Tarun Vijay spoke to Dorjee Khandu, Arunachal Pradesh's chief minister, at length about the controversy.
Later, an emergency meeting of the concerned top officials was held in Itanagar. They also re-confirmed that no such intrusion has taken place.
His statement is a matter of political rivalry and nothing else. He was in Delhi for a long period, he couldn't have ascertained the facts himself, so it seems he gave his statement on the basis of what Lokam Tassar said.
Hence, the MLAs were unhappy and chose me as their leader. (Congress president) Soniaji (Gandhi) is completely against corruption and wanted a clean and result oriented Congress government. I was reluctant to shoulder this responsibility, but when all insisted I had to accept it.
I deposited the money with the treasury and had the officer arrested. This is the situation, which we are determined to change.
Security in the border areas depends on the common people's commitment and patriotism.
We the Arunachalis are patriotic to the core, children of Bharat Mata, and shall defeat any Chinese design to capture our land. But corrupt governance destroys trust and breeds unpatriotic elements.
I came to Delhi and met the prime minister and several other ministers. I have revived the PDS and got instant clearance from the prime minister regarding the rates for PDS and the Food Corporation of India's contractors. It will help immensely.
Secondly, I shall also revive rural banking, which collapsed under a Rs 200 crore scam. All the small investors lost their hard earned savings. It is my duty to ensure that they get back their money. I am also formulating a new industrial policy to attract entrepreneurs from all over India.
Arunachal is immensely gifted with rich natural resources; we have not been able to use them properly for the benefit of the state's development and people's welfare.
We are also involving village elders in monitoring the work of teachers. Salaries will be released only after receiving letters from the elders that the teachers have done their jobs well.
Instead of having politicians or ministers preside over such a function, a local village elder, who knows ancient wisdom, the history of the area and can also transfer that to the people, would be requested to chair the event, so that the traditional flow of knowledge and continuity in culture is honoured.
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