Arunachal inks electoral history as 11 Congress nominees win unopposed

Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Mar.27: Notwithstanding the NaMo wave sweeping across the nation, the state of Arunachal Pradesh has created political history of sorts with the unopposed election of eleven Congress contestants to the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly, suggesting that Chief Minister Nabam Tuki’s popularity with the people of the region is at an all-time high.

Of the total 188 nominations filed, 173 were declared valid and 18 withdrawn leaving 155 (60-INC, BJP-42, NCP-9, PPA-16, NPF-11, AAP-1 and Ind-16) in the fray for the 60 assembly seats, according to Nirvachan Bhawan release. This result by the Congress Party, in a manner of speaking, is unprecedented in electoral history.

The constituencies and the nominees are Sagalee – Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, Mukto – Tourism Minister Pema Khandu; Nacho – RD Minister Tanga Byaling; Pakke-Kessang – former CM Kameng Dolo, Mebo – former minister Lombo Tayeng, Seppa West – newcomer Mama Natung, Dirang, Doimukh, Palin, Nyapin and Taliha contested by outgoing MLAs Phurpa Tsering, Nabam Rebia, Takam Pario, Bamang Felix and Punji Mara respectively, according to Nirvachan Bhawan release.

Simultaneous elections to two Lok Sabha seats and the assembly are scheduled on April 9 next.

The outcome has justified Tuki’s recent statement of ‘zero-Modi wave’ in this land-locked hilly state.

“It is total sabotage of democratic process. Most of our candidates were intimidated and threatened by the ruling Congress leaders creating a situation never seen before in Indian democracy. It’s a political coup with a mission leading to denial of adult franchise to willing voters of all unopposed constituencies,” state BJP president Tai Tagak, said in a press conference, taking a dig at Congress.

However, Tagak along with Sagalee BJP candidate Nabam Tade lodged a written complaint late in the evening with the state’s chief electoral officer Chandra Bhusan Kumar that Tade’s signature was forged to withdraw his nomination. The CEO told the Arunachal Front daily over telephone that he had forwarded the complaint to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

“Our landslide victory is a forgone conclusion in the assembly polls,” said APCC president Mukut Mithi and congratulated the winners for their direct link with the masses through the party’s ideology.

The CEO, however, said the expenditure would come down with deployment of less man and materials in the uncontested seats.

The state inked a record of highest ever 11 INC candidates elected unopposed, except that none was uncontested in 1995. Mukto achieved a distinction of returning the uncontested candidate for the highest five times, the rest seats attained the status for the first time while Sagalee twice.

Former chief minister Dorjee Khandu was elected thrice uncontested and Pema Khandu twice from Mukto seat as the people had have full faith in their leadership for their relentless and selfless service for all-round development of the area, said Tawang Zilla Parishad chairperson Jambey Tsering.

“The massive development in the state, Sagalee in particular led to unopposed election of so many candidates, including CM Tuki. Wait and watch for the numerous policies of Tuki-led government to benefit one and all in coming years,” said Sagalee ZPM Nabam Yakum.

After the state graduated to parliamentary form of democracy in 1978, Indian National Congress (INC) made inroads in 1980 by winning as many as 13 of the total 30 assembly seats and made virtual monopoly over the electoral scenario since then. The state saw BJP-led coalition government led by Gegong Apang in 2003 for 42 days before the entire group returned to Congress fold lock stock barrel just before the elections. By Pradeep Kumar (ANI)