NPP next stop for leftover BJP leaders

Waii and Gamlin among those to join Sangma’s party

[Nellie N Manpoong]

ITANAGAR, Mar 19: The National People’s Party (NPP) has become the hub of politicians who have been left out of the BJP as they seek nominations for the legislative assembly seats.
Sitting Home Minister Kumar Waii and Tourism Minister Jarkar Gamlin along with five sitting MLAs of the BJP formally joined the NPP here on Tuesday after they had been denied BJP tickets. Independent MLA Paknga Bage also joined the party.
While, besides Dumporijo legislator Bage, BJP MLAs Pani Taram (Koloriang) and Thangwang Wangham (Longding-Pumao) had joined the NPP on Monday, Wangling Lowangdong (Borduria-Bogapani), Kardo Nyigyor (Likabali) and Tapuk Taku (Seppa East) joined the party on Tuesday evening.
Eighteen others, including former minister Tsering Gyurme, former MLA Tani Loffa and former BJP general secretary Jarpum Gamlin also joined the party.
Prominent candidates also include the likes of advocate Tony Pertin and engineers-turned-politicians Tarh Hari and Aju Khonjuju.
While Pertin will contest from the Dambuk assembly constituency, Hari will be the NPP’s candidate from Sagalee. Khonjuju is expected to contest from Bomdila.
Addressing reporters here after the formal induction of the members, the NPP’s national general secretary Thomas Sangma said the joining of the members was a “historic day for the party in Arunachal Pradesh.”
Saying that the party hopes to field candidates in 35 to 40 constituencies, Sangma informed that the NPP is not keen on forming pre-poll alliance with any political party.
“Our aim and objective is to try and be able to form an NPP-led government on our own in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, and we will move forward with this objective in the coming days,” he said.
Lauding Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for his leadership and for bringing the Northeast to the forefront, Waii also advocated forming an NPP-led government in Arunachal.
“Some may assume that we are here merely because we were not given BJP tickets, but we know that it is not possible for everyone to become an MLA. But if the party had been right I would still be in the BJP as its worker,” Waii said.
He said he has lost faith in the BJP’s ideology, and accused the party of playing “family politics.”
Hinting towards the denial of party tickets to Tapuk Taku and Jarpum Gamlin, Waii said those who joined the BJP recently were given party tickets while long-time members and workers were sidelined.
“If this is Modi’s vision then fine, but if it is Pema Khandu’s vision then the BJP can never move forward,” Waii said, adding that he was hopeful that those who joined the NPP would form a good combination under Conrad Sangma’s leadership and would be successful in forming an NPP-led government.
Roing MLA and state NPP spokesperson Mutchu Mithi stressed on the NPP’s secular nature.
“There is no selective enmity with any party. Our main aim is to see to it that the voice of the Northeast is heard in Delhi, and we are willing to go with any party that is ready to hear the aspirations of the Northeast,” he said.
The party will officially announce its candidates for the assembly constituencies on Wednesday, Mithi informed.
MLA Nikh Kamin and NPP state president G Kabak were also present on the occasion.