INC loses long-time member over ticket issue

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Mar 22: The BJP is not the only political party that seems to be losing its members over the issuing of party tickets.
The Indian National Congress (INC) also lost its long-time member, Taba Thomas, on Friday to the Janata Dal (Secular) after the party’s ticket for the Itanagar assembly constituency was awarded to Itanagar Market Welfare Association president Yumlam Achung.
Speaking to reporters on his departure from the party on Friday evening, Thomas, who had been a primary member of the INC for 11 years, said he failed to understand the reason behind him being denied the party ticket.
“I had been with the Congress for ages, and high recommendations were sent from the district as well as the PCC. I still have high regards for the Congress party, but the leaders did not appreciate the time and effort I put into the party. How can I work with those who do not appreciate my efforts?” he said.
On why he chose to join the JD (S), Thomas said he still valued the ideologies of the Congress, and since the JD (S) is an alliance of the Congress in Karnataka, he said he wanted “to go with a party that shared similar ideologies.”
With senior leaders as his competitors, Thomas said he hopes to move ahead in the elections “with youth power and women power,” and with the support of senior leaders such as former chief minister Gegong Apang and the party’s west parliamentary constituency candidate Jarjum Ete.
Regarding his selection as the Congress candidate for the Itanagar seat, Achung said the party selected him “probably because the party always selects those who can beat the competition.”
On receiving the party ticket merely weeks after joining the party, he said, “Everyone has to start somewhere. My candidature had nothing to do with the time spent in the party, but with my capability and chances of winning, like in all other parties.”
Achung said he does not consider the former MLAs major threats.
“I trust my work and relationship with the people. I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, and people have to give someone new a chance, so that they can see for themselves whether they chose the right person or not.”