20 withdraw candidature
[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
ITANAGAR, Mar 28: The state is all set to witness intense electoral battles on 11 April with 190 candidates in the fray for the two parliamentary and 57 assembly seats this year.
Three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates have been declared elected unopposed, leaving candidates to fight for the remaining 57 assembly seats.
Speaking to reporters on the last date of withdrawal of candidature (28 March), Additional Chief Election Officer (ACEO) Kangki Darang informed that 20 candidates, including substitutes, have withdrawn their names from the assembly election, while none of the candidates contesting the parliamentary election has withdrawn their candidature.
While the ACEO had earlier said there were 191 candidates, an update received from the Tawang administration informed of the withdrawal of the candidature of Janata Dal (Secular) candidate Tsering Dorjee from the Tawang constituency.
The ACEO later said his office is still receiving reports and the update from Tawang should be considered.
With three BJP candidates elected unopposed, the party now has 57 candidates, while the Indian National Congress (INC) will be fielding 47 candidates.
The National People’s Party (NPP) has 30 candidates, the Janata Dal (United) has 17, the Janata Dal (Secular) has 12, the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) will field nine candidates, and the All India Party (AIP) has one candidate.
There are 17 independent candidates for both the parliamentary and assembly elections.
With 10 names, the Bordumsa-Diyun constituency has the highest number of candidates for the assembly election.
Contesting on BJP tickets, Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Deputy CM Chowna Mein will face straight fights in Mukto and Chowkham constituency, respectively. The Congress has fielded former abbot of the Gontse Gadan Rageyling Monastery, Thupten Kunphen and Khunang Kri against Khandu and Mein, respectively.
Notable candidates include former chief minister Gegong Apang from the JD(S), who will have a three-cornered fight with sitting Health Minister Alo Libang (BJP) and Tsepa Wangchuk Khamba (PPA) for the Tuting-Yingkiong seat.
There are seven candidates for the controversial Lekang seat, including the state’s Congress chief Takam Sanjoy, debutant Jummum Ete Deori, Padmeshwari Jamoh, Nikh Khopi, Takam Paleng, Bida Taku and Nabam Tekhi.
The elections this time will also witness 10 female candidates vying for spots in the legislation process of the country. The INC has four female candidates with Dayum Yara contesting for the Tali seat, Kabak Soping for Raga, Yaman Bagra for Aalo West, and Komoli Mossang for the Nampong seat.
Besides Ete Deori, who is vying for the Lekang seat, the BJP has female legislators Gum Tayeng from Dambuk and Dasanglu Pul from Hayuliang taking another shot at their constituencies.
The JD(U) is fielding Jamoh for the Lekang seat, and Yaba Gadi is contesting from the PPA for the Liromoba assembly constituency.
Yari Tok is the lone independent female candidate in the assembly election to the Bordumsa-Diyun seat.
The seven candidates for the Arunachal West parliamentary seat remain the same. They are union minister Kiren Rijiju (BJP), Jarjum Ete (JD-S), Nabam Tuki (INC), Khoda Apik (NPP), Subu Kechi (PPA), Jomin Nyokir (All India Forward Bloc), and Rumak Jomoh (independent).
The Arunachal East parliamentary seat also has the same number of candidates. Those who have filed nominations for the Arunachal East constituency are Tapir Gao (BJP), James L Wanglat (INC), Bandey Mili (JD-S), Mongol Yomso (PPA), and CC Singpho (independent).
The state has a total of 7,98,248 voters, with the female voters outnumbering their male counterparts. There are over four lakh female voters and about 3,92,000 male voters.
“The state has 2202 polling stations and polling will be held in all the stations, irrespective of the wins of the three assembly candidates, as the parliamentary elections will be held on the same day,” Darang informed.
There are 518 “foot-march” polling stations and helicopter sorties will be held for 14 far-flung polling stations in Tali, Nacho and Hayuliang constituencies, the ACEO said.
Central armed police forces have also been requisitioned for hypersensitive polling stations, with provisions for videography and webcasting.
The elections have 26 general observers, 20 expenditure observers, and two police observers.