[Nellie N Manpoong]
ITANAGAR, Mar 19: State BJP president Tapir Gao requested his party’s members not to leave the BJP because they or their chosen candidates did not get tickets to contest the assembly election.
Addressing reporters at the BJP office here on Tuesday, Gao said “this is what we had trained for. Those who managed to get past this stage are the true workers of the party. Not getting the party ticket should not be taken in the wrong spirit. We should maintain the zeal of the BJP and bring the Khandu and Modi governments back again.”
He said the candidates were not selected by him and it was a collective decision of the party’s parliamentary committee, which includes several high-ranking party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Winnability and party discipline were our primary criteria to select candidates,” Gao said.
Regarding the exit of former BJP general secretary Jarpum Gamlin, the state BJP chief said, “We tried our level best, and tried to consider his candidature, but it was the committee’s decision. The exit of such a good leader is a loss for the party. I am handicapped at the moment because those who were not given a ticket have left the party. I will now have to work with a new team,” he added, and urged the party’s workers and leaders to work together and ensure that the BJP’s candidates win.
On whether Chief Minister Pema Khandu would contest from Mukto as well as Kalaktang assembly constituencies, Gao said although people have requested Khandu to contest from Kalaktang, the decision was solely his (Khandu’s) to take.
Expressing confidence that Khandu would win from the Mukto assembly constituency, Gao said he and Khandu were happy that there are candidates who would give him a fight as Khandu is yet to face an actual electoral battle.
Gao also informed that Modi is scheduled to visit the state capital on 28 March, and Pasighat on 4 April.