ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday allayed fears of revocation of the special provisions of Article 371H and said the rights are aimed at developing the backward areas of the state.
In his address, on the occasion of Independence Day, Khandu said the provisions enshrined in Article 371 are aimed at "protecting the economic and cultural interests" of some states, including Arunachal.
The recent abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 in J&K by the Centre have raised apprehensions in the northeast, with several parties and organisations fearing that the Centre may also tinker with the special status accorded to their states.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had clarified that the central government has no such intention.
Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his bold move in J&K, Khandu said, "The provisions of Article 371 are inclusive in nature, but that of Article 370 are primarily divisive.
The government has taken the first step towards the inclusive development of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
"I assure the people of my state that the provisions of Article 371-H will continue to stay in force and the same had been categorically assured in the Parliament by the Centre," he said after unfurling the Tri-colour at Indira Gandhi Park here.
Article 371H vests the governor of Arunachal Pradesh with special responsibility with respect to the law and order situation in the state and in the discharge of his functions in relation thereto.
It also states that the Legislative Assembly shall consist of not less than thirty members.
"The main objectives behind Article 371 granting special provisions to some states, including Arunachal, are to meet the unique needs of the backward areas of these states, protect the economic and cultural interests, combat local challenges and protect customary laws," he maintained.
Khandu also asserted that his government would work towards ensuring peace and harmony in the state, where all communities co-exist and cooperate with each other.
"The state government has taken several measures to increase efficiency and remove red-tape and corrupt practices in the functioning of the government departments," he said.
Talking about the development projects in the pipeline, the chief minister said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has sanctioned funds for "pre-investment activities and various clearances of the 2,880-MW Dibang multi-purpose project" in the state.
"The project, expected to be completed in nine years, will provide 12 per cent free power to the state," he explained.
The chief minister appealed to the people to "collaborate and work together as a team" to build the Arunachal Pradesh of their dreams.
"We have to put in our best efforts to make Arunachal Pradesh one of the best-administered and -governed states in the country in line with the prime minister's mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas'," the chief minister added.