From cakewalk to contest

ITANAGAR, Mar 26: For the first time in his political career, Chief Minister Pema Khandu will face the real challenge of opposition when he fights for another term from the Mukto constituency in Tawang district in the upcoming election.
Until now it has been a cakewalk for Khandu as he was elected unopposed from the constituency after his father and former chief minister Dorjee Khandu died in a helicopter crash in 2011. He was reelected unopposed from the same constituency in 2014.
According to the Tawang DIPRO, 17 out of the 18 nomination papers submitted for three assembly constituencies in Tawang district have been found to be valid after scrutiny on Tuesday.
“A paper in respect of an INC candidate was not accepted as he was a substitute candidate,” the DIPRO reported.
While the Tawang constituency will witness a three-cornered contest, the Lumla and Mukto constituencies are set for straight fights between the BJP and the NPP, and the BJP the Congress, respectively.
The Indian National Congress has fielded Thupten Kunphen against Khandu.
The results of scrutiny of nomination papers have also been received from a few districts.
In East Siang, barring the nomination form of a substitute candidate of the BJP for the Mebo constituency, all other 15 candidates’ nomination papers for the four assembly seats have been found to be correct or valid after scrutiny.
While Mebo will witness a three-cornered contest, Pasighat East, Pasighat West and Nari-Koyu are set for multi-cornered contests.
In West Kameng, 13 candidates’ nomination forms were found to be valid. In total, 14 nominations were filed for all the four assembly segments in the district.
The party-wise candidate break up is: four from BJP, three from INC, three from JD(U), one from NPP, and two independents.