Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has urged voters to join his campaign against ‘money culture’ in elections and help him hold the upcoming polls on performance and not on money. The BJP leader also said that a politician who spends billions to get elected will spend the next five years trying to recover that money.
According to data from election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), Mr. Khandu is India’s second-richest chief minister, with assets of over Rs 163 crore declared in his affidavit electoral. At 44, he is also the country’s youngest chief minister.
Addressing a large public meeting at Yachuli in Lower Subansiri district, Mr. Khandu urged the people to help him ensure that next year’s state assembly elections are “performance-based and not about money.
“We always complain against corruption. But have we ever thought about where it starts? It starts when a voter casts his precious vote in exchange for money,” the chief minister said.
Elections for the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly as well as the Lok Sabha will be held next year and Mr Khandu has said he wants to start his campaign before then.
“Unfortunately, in our state, the candidate who spends the most money wins elections. This must stop. The money culture is the reason eligible, capable, honest people lose chances to represent their district and to work for the development of the people,” the chief minister said.
“Where is the time and enthusiasm for the representative, who spends millions of rupees to win elections, to think about development? His five years will be spent recovering the money and earning more money to invest in his next elections,” he added.
According to ADR data, YSR Congress Party’s YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is the richest chief minister in the country with declared assets of Rs 510 crore. Mr. Reddy is the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.