BJP withdraws tickets given to non-indigenous candidates

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Dec 1: The BJP has relented to the pressure from the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) by withdrawing the party tickets it had issued to non-indigenous candidates for the ZPM and GPM elections.

The AAPSU had on Monday threatened to launch a series of democratic movements if the BJP did not withdraw or cancel the party tickets given to non-indigenous candidates anywhere in the state, particularly in Vijoynagar in Changlang district.

The union had accused the BJP of undermining the scheduled tribe status of the people of Arunachal by giving party tickets to non-indigenous candidates.

In a letter to the Changlang district returning officer, state BJP president Biyuram Wahge stated, “All the BJP tickets issued earlier to the party prospective candidates for 14/08 Vijoynagar zilla parishad (ZPM) and all the gram panchayat constituencies of 14/08 Vijoynagar is withdrawn and stands cancelled.”

Wahge asked the district’s returning officer “not to recognize and accept any BJP tickets in the upcoming panchayat election in the mentioned ZPM and GPM constituencies.”

The state BJP office has confirmed the withdrawal of the party tickets. It, however, did not specify the reason for the abrupt cancellation.

Meanwhile, on the opposition raised against non-APSTs contesting in the panchayat election in Vijoynagar, Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday said that he would soon hold a meeting and look into the matter seriously.

“We will find out what the constitution says and will contemplate on it. If required, we will also take up the matter with the State Election Commission,” Khandu said.

On whether it was feasible to continue to hold the panchayat elections on political party lines, Khandu said that the matter had been discussed in the assembly earlier but the opposition was against it.

“I personally feel that the panchayat election should not be held on party lines because there is a lot of give and take of money in the name of democracy in the grassroots level itself, and it is wrong. I had hoped that the elections at the grassroots level would be free from political parties, but my wanting it alone does not help. The opposition was strongly against it, and now we are going ahead with the party system,” he said.