GUWAHATI, Sept 24 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi yesterday came down heavily on the Government of Gujarat on signing MoUs with China that have maps showing Arunachal Pradesh and some parts of Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territories.
In a statement here, Gogoi described showing Arunachal Pradesh and some parts of Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territories as a ‘major blunder’. “Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are integral parts of India. The handout showing Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territories has caused irreparable harm to the country’s image and integrity,” he said.
Gogoi said the Government of India has gone out of its way to appease the visiting Chinese President to improve bilateral ties and for the sake of investments by putting the country’s interests at stake. The blunder committed is a reprehensible act and the unity and integrity of the country has been put at stake just for narrow gains, he added.
Demanding strict action against the Additional Chief Secretary of Government of Gujarat, D Pandian for the serious lapse, Gogoi said, “The goof-up committed by a high ranking officer of Additional Chief Secretary level is a very serious issue. It has harmed the country’s image and integrity. If an IAS officer has no idea about Arunachal Pradesh being an intrinsic part of India, he does not deserve to be in a top post. Such an officer must be removed from service at once.”
Gogoi said the inquiry ordered by the Government of India on the issue is an eyewash to hoodwink the people of the country. “Where is the need for an inquiry when it is crystal clear that such an act was deliberately done just to appease the visiting Chinese President. What is most unfortunate is that everything took place right in the presence of the Prime Minister,” he said.
The Chief Minister also criticised the action of the Government of Gujarat for turning a blind eye to the incident that took place at a hotel in Ahmedabad during the visit of the Chinese President. “The manner in which staffers of the hotel from North East were asked to stay away during the Chinese President’s visit is a disgraceful act. Such discriminatory attitude has to change if we are to remove the sense of alienation among the people of the North East region and to bring the region closer to the mainland,” he said.
Gogoi also accused the NDA Government of keeping its own Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju away from the MoU signing as a humiliating act.
The Chief Minister said the NDA Government did not pay any importance to discuss the construction of dams on the Brahmaputra by China with the visiting Chinese President despite the serious concerns of the people of the State and the region as a whole.
Relegating the dam issue to the backburner by the Prime Minister despite serious concerns of the people of the State and the region has put a big question on how serious the NDA Government is about the North East, he added.
On the issue of stapled visas to the people of Arunachal Pradesh by China, the Chief Minister said, “The Government of India should have opposed tooth and nail the Chinese policy of extending stapled visas to the people of Arunachal Pradesh. By accepting the Chinese stapled visa policy, the NDA government has only helped China to keep up pressure on Arunachal Pradesh which they claim it to be their own. It will undermine India’s position on the border question,” Gogoi said.