ITANAGAR: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) has demanded that the State government must ban the participation of non-APST (Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe) persons in Panchayat and Municipal elections in the future in the State and also on issuance of Domicile/Temporary Residence Certificate. The students' union also demanded amendments of "the flaws of Arunachal Panchayati Raj Act-1997' and upholding of the Daying Ering Recommendations of 1965 in the Panchyati Raj elections".
Earlier during the day, a delegation of the students' body also submitted a five-point representation to the State government in a meeting called by Chief Minister Pema Khandu at the State Civil Secretariat here on Thursday. Also present in the meeting were Panchayat Minister Bamang Felix, State BJP president Biyuram Waghe, and BJP general secretary Zingnu Namchoom, informed AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai at a press conference at the Arunachal Press Club here after the meeting.
Dai further said, "The inclusion and participation of the non-indigenous populace in local body and municipal elections will create serious issues in the State besides hampering the rights of the indigenous people in the long run. Therefore, the union has demanded the complete ban on the participation of the non-APST people in the election process to the State's panchayat and the municipal bodies."
He also said that the State government assured the students' organization of its support to the demands by the students' union. "The State government has also categorically stated that there are many 'defects' in the State Panchayati Raj election manual, and these flaws created problems for the indigenous people," he said, adding, "This needs a change."
AAPSU president Hawa Bagang said that the State government should make the 'Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificate and Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC)' mandatory for anyone wanting to contest the local body elections. "Provision for inclusion of the PRC and the ST certificates should be made mandatory in 'FORM No. 4' for people contesting local body elections. The entire process should be modified in the interest of the indigenous people," he said, informing that the State government has assured to look into the demand for modifications.
Bagang further said that the Union also demanded a ban on the issue of 'Domicile Certificate' which, according to him, is being used by some in the local body elections and also for various other purposes in the State.
"The government has agreed to ban the issue of 'Domicile Certificate' as well as the 'Temporary Residence Certificate' (TRC) which is being largely used by the non-indigenous people, and thereby curtaining the rights of the indigenous people of the State," he said.
The AAPSU also made it clear that the Union will not accept any inclusion and participation of Non-Indigenous persons in the ensuing local body election in Lekang and Diyun of Namsai district.
AAPSU vice president Meje Taku further said that the Union will never accept the participation of non-indigenous persons from Vijoynagar also. He said that some non-indigenous persons from the area are challenging the students' union by being rigid in their stand to contest the local body election there. Mentionably, the State government has deferred the local body election at Vijoynagar. Taku also said that a delegation of the AAPSU had earlier met the locals and the RO (Returning Officer) of the area regarding the non-inclusion of the non-indigenous people in the election. At the same time, the Union welcomed the prompt action taken by the State BJP to withdraw nominations of its two non-Arunachalee candidates in Changlang district.