Cong announces list of candidates for Arunachal polls

ITANAGAR, Sept 14 – All but four names have been declared by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) for the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly that goes to polls on October 13 next.

Barring Pakke-Kessang, Palin, Namsai and Yachuli Assembly constituencies, the Congress high command yesterday came up with the names of 56 candidates for the forthcoming Assembly polls.

The prominent names missing from the list are sitting Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Atum Welly, MLAs TG Rimpoche, RK Khirmey, Tadik Chije, Thajam Aboh, Nyato Rigia and Wangnia Pongte.

Though the list includes the names of two women candidates, it has failed to ensure berth for sizeable number of youth candidates. But interestingly, no heavyweights have been discarded by the party high command.

The first list includes the names of Chief Minister and CLP leader Dorjee Khandu for Mukto Assembly seat, Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee president Nabam Tuki for Sagalee, and senior party leaders like Gegong Apang for Tuting-Yingkiong, Tako Dabi (Nari-Koyu), Jarbom Gamlin (Liromoba), Kalikho Pul (Hayuliang), Tatar Kipa (Nyapin) and Kameng Dolo (Chayangtajo).

The new faces in the ‘prized’ list include Jambey Tashi, who replaced the Monk-turned legislator T G Rimpoche from Lumla, retired bureaucrat-turned-politician Tenzing Norbu Thongdok (Kalaktang), Punji Mara (Taliha) and Jarkar Gamlin, the elder brother of party heavyweight Jarbom Gamlin for Along East. The only young face that makes an entry into the list is Passang Dorjee Sona for Mechuka Assembly segment.

PTI adds: Opposition BJP will contest about 50 seats in the ensuing State Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh, according to a spokesman of the state unit.

“Some of the sitting MLAs of the ruling Congress and Independents who did not figure in the list of 56 Congress nominees released yesterday are in touch with us for BJP tickets,” the spokesman Tai Tagak said today. However, BJP would release the full list of its nominees by September 17. It had so far released first list of 17 nominees.

In the last assembly elections in 2004, BJP contested 39 out of total 60 seats and won nine seats and secured the leader of the opposition post for the first time in the state.

However the recent defection of local party stalwart Kiren Rijiju and all its nine MLAs to Congress have weakened its position ahead of the the elections, observers feel. The entry of NCP and Trinamool Congress would also reduce the anti-Congress votes.