ITANAGAR, March 28 - The ruling BJP has created ‘history’ in Arunachal Pradesh as the saffron party has won three Assembly seats without any contest. Polling to the State Assembly and the two Parliamentary seats is slated for April 11.
“Three candidates of the BJP – Kento Jiji from Aalo East, Taba Tedir from Yachuli and Phurpa Tsering from Dirang – were elected unopposed after the last date for withdrawal of candidature,” said Kanki Darang, Additional Chief Electoral Officer of Arunachal Pradesh.
Notably, all three Assembly seats won by the BJP fall under the Arunachal West Parliamentary constituency.
While Jini and Tedir were returned unopposed as the nomination papers of their rivals – Minkir Lollen of the Congress and Toko Yaram of the Janata Dal (United) respectively – were rejected on various grounds, Phurpa Tsering retained his Dirang seat as both his opponents – Tsering Gyurme of the Congress and Gombu Tsering Gonpapa (Independent) – pulled out of the electoral battle, according to the Additional CEO.
Meanwhile, Darang said that altogether 191 candidates are now in the fray for 57 out of the 60-member State Assembly after 20 nominees withdrew their candidature on Thursday, the last date for withdrawal of candidature.
Post withdrawal of applications, the party-wise break-up of candidates is: BJP-57, Congress-47, National People’s Party (NPP)-30, Janata Dal (United)-17, Janata Dal (Secular)- 13, People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA)-nine and All India Party-one. The remaining are Independents.
On the other hand, none of the 12 candidates for the two Lok Sabha seats has withdrawn their nomination, informed the Additional CEO, adding that the Arunachal West constituency has a total of seven candidates and the Arunachal East seat has five.
Those in the fray for the Arunachal West seat are Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju (BJP), Nabam Tuki (Congress), Khyoda Apik (NPP), Subu Kechi (PPA), Jomin Nyokir Kara (All India Forward Bloc), Jarjum Ete of the JD(S) and Rumak Jomoh (Independent).
While in Arunachal East constituency, Tapir Gao (BJP), James Lowangcha Wanglat (Congress), Bandey Mili of the JD(S), Mongol Yomso (PPA) and CC Singpho (Independent) will be locked in a multi-cornered contest.
The Additional CEO also stated that there are 10 female candidates in the contest for the Assembly polls, with the Congress having the maximum number of four, followed by the BJP with three, and the PPA, JD(U) and Independent one each. Only one woman candidate, Jarjum Ete of the JD(S), is contesting the Parliamentary election.
A total of 7,98,248 voters, including 4,01,601 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the April 11 polls. Polling will be held for the 57 Assembly seats and two Parliamentary seats in 2,202 polling stations spread across the State.
While polling parties will have to march on foot to reach 518 polling stations where there is no road connectivity, helicopter sorties will be used for ferrying polling officials and materials to 14 polling booths located in the remote Pip-Sorang circle under the Tali Assembly constituency in Kra-Daadi district, Taksing under Nacho in Upper Subansiri district and Vijaynagar under the Hayuliang constituency in Anjaw district bordering China.
Darang said at hypersensitive polling stations, Central Armed Police Forces would be deployed and videography of the polling process would be done and in some cases, there would be webcasting of the polling stations. In all, 26 general observers have been appointed for the general election and 20 expenditure observers for monitoring the expenditures of political parties and their candidates. The Additional CEO added that there would be two police observers as well to monitor the security situation.
He also said that unaccounted cash seized so far across the State by the static surveillance teams, flying squads and the police has risen to Rs 2,73,99,070 since the election model code of conduct came into force on March 10. Papum Pare district, which houses the State capital Itanagar, accounted for the highest amount of Rs 74 lakh.