In a major jolt to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Assembly Elections 2019, former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Gegong Apang on Tuesday resigned from the primary membership of the party. Apang, who served as the Arunachal chief minister for 23 long years, expressed displeasure about the BJP's current ideologies, saying the party has now become a "platform to seek power".
In a letter to BJP national president Amit Shah and Arunachal state unit president Tapir Gao, Apang said, "I have been blessed with love and respect from the people of my state. It is because of which I have been seven times MLA and Chief Minister for 23 years".
"I am disappointed to see that the present day BJP is no longer following the principles Vajpayee ,the party is now a platform to seek power, it serves a leadership which hates decentralization or democratic decision making and no longer believes that the party founded by, for, of the cadre is only seeking to capture power," the chief minister added.
Read Apang's full letter here:
"In 2014, in Arunachal Pradesh, the party did not get peoples mandate. But the BJP leadership used every dirty trick of the trade and installed Late Kalikho Pul as CM. Despite an adverse SC ruling, a BJP Government was reinstalled. Neither a proper investigation was done in Pul's suicide nor the present BJP leadership thought of morality and ethics by installing more BJP Governments in northeast.
Even in the state level executive committee meeting held on November 10, 2018, at Pasi ghat, General Secretary of the party Ram Madhav did not allow many members and office bearers to place their views before the party cadre. The decision to put Pema Khandu's name as CM before the election is neither the norm nor the tradition that the cadre-based party like BJP had followed. BJP in the past has always asked the views of the legislature party members and then decided on leadership issues.
Such undemocratic practices are not for the parties that grew under the leadership of LK Advani, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BS Shekawat, Kushbhau Thakre, ML Khurana, Rajmata Scindia and Sikandar Bakht.
Vajpayee once said to me that it is better to be in splendid political isolation rather than get into power by compromising on political ideologies. The rank and file of the BJP in most of the North Eastern states have no role in any participatory democratic exercise within their state units, they have now become habitual of uploading and downloading decisions from the NAMO APP. Party leadership is more concerned about winning seats and using social media to harp on grass-root level victories.
From Issues like grass-root delivery of government schemes to matters like Naga peace talks, Chakma -Hajong issue, amendments of citizenship bill, telecommunications and real-time digital connectivity to peaceful and cordial relation with neighbours like Bangladesh, Myanmar and China, both the party and the Modi Sarkar-are not addressing the real issues".
Apang, who was elected Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh in 1980, held the office until 1999 and resigned from his post following a no-confidence motion by a split in the Congress party. In 2014, he resigned from the primary membership of the Congress and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the general election and Arunachal Pradesh legislative assembly election.