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Arunachal all-party delegation to approach Centre on amending Article 371(H)

The Chief Minister said Article 371(H) did not have any provision regarding the resources found in the state, whereas states like Mizoram and Nagaland had those provisions

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Itanagar: An all-party delegation from the State will move to Delhi in the coming days to request the Centre to amend Article 371(H) of the Indian Constitution to put Arunachal at par with Article 371(A) and 371(G) in line with Nagaland and Mizoram, Chief Minister Pema Khandu informed the Assembly on Wednesday.

Responding to the ‘zero hour’ discussion on the matter raised by Congress MLA Ninong Ering to amend the Article 371(H) at par with Article 371(A), the Chief Minister while pointing out the inadequacies in State’s constitutional provisions said Article 371(H) did not have any provision regarding the resources found in the state, whereas states like Mizoram and Nagaland had those provisions, because of which the state could not use the resources without the consent of the central government which appeared to be a hurdle in its developmental journey.

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The Article 371(H) has only two clauses – one pertaining to the special power of the Governor with respect to law and order in the state and in discharge of his functions after consulting the Council of Ministers and the other clause stating that the State Legislative Assembly should consist of not less than 30 members.

While reiterating that Arunachal was conferred the Statehood in 1987 ‘in a haste’, Khandu, without blaming anyone, said people were not educated and well aware of the constitutional provisions then because of which the state missed the opportunity to exploit its resources.

“Since there was lack of education, connectivity, etc in the State, the former leaders, maybe, couldn’t have any discussion with their counterparts from Mizoram and Nagaland who were well-educated and could negotiate with the Central government”, he said.

He said the Assembly had on August 27, 2020, adopted a resolution seeking to amend Article 371(H) towards safeguarding the tribal rights of the indigenous people of the State.

“Until and unless constitutional provisions are there, we can not avail the benefits,” Khandu said while adding that his government will send a reminder letter to the Home Ministry about the 2020 resolution adopted in the House. 

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