AICC team to assess Arunachal situation

Itanagar: A three-member All India Congress Committee (AICC) team is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow as dissident Congressmen led by Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) Nabam Tuki are demanding a change in leadership in the state.

The AICC team will be headed by Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and the members include former union DoNER minister Bijoy Krishna Handique and party?s general secretary in-charge of the state, Dhaniram Shandil, party sources said here today. The team earlier had to cancel its October 13 visit to the state capital following clashes that erupted in on October 11 last between supporters of a rally and enforcers of a bandh called to protest against the breakdown in law and order.

With the Congress high command shifting the venue to Itanagar to settle the political differences among the ruling Congress legislators, the dissidents led by Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Nabam Tuki arrived in the state capital last evening.

The group had returned to Guwahati on October 19 after camping in Delhi for about four months demanding a change in leadership. The development comes in the wake of Congress president Sonia Gandhi asking both Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin and Tuki to return to Itanagar when the duo called on her on October 15 last and gave a joint letter that they would abide by her decision about the leadership issue, in the presence of the AICC team besides Sonia?s political advisor Ahmad Patel and senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandez.

They were told that the AICC team constituted to solve the leadership crisis raging since June would visit

Itanagar to gauge the mood of the legislators and report back to Sonia for a final verdict. The chief minister who left for New Delhi yesterday to attend the National Development Council meeting is expected to return to the state capital for the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting scheduled on October 23.

There are 42 Congress legislators in the state which has a 60-member assembly. In fact, prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC have been promulgated since October 13 and security forces have been staging flag marches in the Capital Complex since then.