BJP purchased Cong candidates to win elections in Arunachal: Tuki

ITANAGAR, 2 Apr: Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) chief Nabam Tuki on Tuesday accused the ruling BJP in the state of luring Congress candidates with money to secure victory in the assembly elections.

Tuki claimed that many party candidates withdrew their nomination papers after being offered substantial sums by the ruling party.

Initially, the opposition party had fielded 34 candidates for the 60 assembly seats, but it is now left with only 19 nominees, he said.

Tuki himself is contesting as a Lok Sabha candidate from the Arunachal West parliamentary constituency, while the party’s vice president Bosiram Siram is contesting from the Eastern seat.

“This is not a surpriseā€¦ the ruling party has made all efforts to win the elections. It is an open secret that the BJP candidates are using money to purchase our candidates,” the veteran Congress leader alleged.

Talking to reporters after releasing the party’s manifesto here, Tuki, a six-time MLA from Sagalee constituency in Papum Pare district, said that “whatever ploy is being used by the BJP, the Congress will win in maximum seats.”

“We are confident of winning in all the 19 seats where our candidates are contesting,” Tuki said.

On alliance with other parties in the state, the APCC chief revealed that the Congress would go for an alliance with any party which believes in secularism. He, however, declined to comment on the names of the parties.

Asked whether the party would suffer a setback as the ruling BJP has already won 10 seats uncontested, Tuki said that “this is not a new thing in the state.”

“The Congress in the state won 11 seats unopposed during the 2014 assembly elections,” he added.

The senior Congress leader said that if the opposition INDIA bloc wins the elections at the national level, the government in the state would also change instantly.

“If Congress returns to power at the Centre, you will see that there will be no space to stand at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan as all the BJP MLAs will join Congress immediately,” he said, and added that politics is a game and Congress never treat anyone as enemy.

“All the present MLAs and ministers of the BJP in the state are originally from the Congress. It is natural as Arunachal is a resource-crunched state and entirely dependent on New Delhi,” he said.

To a query on whether his political career would come to an end if he loses the Lok Sabha elections this time, Tuki said that he is confident of winning, as the people are with him.

“People have witnessed my contribution to the state in various capacities and have full faith in me. I am sure that they will also support me this time,” the former chief minister added.

Former Lok Sabha MP and party’s campaign chairman Takam Sajoy, who was also present on the occasion, said, “We trust democratic values. Win and defeat is not a new thing in a democratic setup.”

“There will be no end to his (Tuki’s) political career,” Sanjoy said, and added that the INDIA bloc would bounce back “as people of the country know how to give a befitting reply to the BJP’s autocratic rule.” (PTI)