Legislative assembly promises to be different with Waii and Wangham’s presence

[ Bengia Ajum ]

ITANAGAR, 3 Jun: As assembly election results were being announced, social media were flooded with ‘Tiger is back’ posts. It was about former home minister Kumar Waii winning the highly anticipated Bameng assembly constituency battle with Doba Lamnio of the BJP. Waii is the lone Congress candidate to win the election.

He was formerly with the BJP and was home minister but was denied a party ticket in 2019. He fought the election on an NPP ticket and lost to Goruk Pordung of BJP.  There is intense personal and political rivalry between Waii and Chief Minister Pema Khandu. His return to the state assembly is fascinating and has caught the imagination of those who oppose BJP and CM Khandu. Many had written off Kumar Waii after he lost the 2019 election. The political rivalry between the two turned personal when run up to the 2019 assembly election during an election rally Waii while campaigning made a controversial statement attacking CM without taking his name which many found objectionable.

Kumar Waii started his political career as a Zilla Parishad Member and went on to become the home minister of the state. A mercurial politician, his rise to power and grandeur style of politics has attracted many fans across the state. Such is the impact of his election victory that people started writing on social media that his victory was a nightmare for the BJP particularly, CM Pema Khandu and his deputy Chowna Mein. BJP in Arunachal Pradesh like in the centre has been enjoying brute majority in the state assembly for the last decade. In the previous assembly, the opposition leaders mostly remained muted and the government had a free run. Maybe because of all of this people are rejoicing in the victory of Waii across the state. But expecting a single Congress MLA to take on the powerful BJP in the state will be unfair.

One more notable winner in this election is Thangwang Wangham, who is the state president of the National People’s Party (NPP). Wangham, a four-time MLA, lost the election in 2019. But this time he made a strong comeback by defeating BJP candidate Tanpho Wangnaw to wrest back Longding-Pumao assembly constituency.  Even though his party NPP has declared that it will support BJP being a member of north east democratic alliance, the return of Wangham to the state assembly is another fascinating story. He is a powerful leader and is also known to be a good orator. There is no doubt that the victory of Kumar Waii and Thanwang Wangham will make assembly sessions more interesting. Otherwise, it was becoming monotonous with everyone singing praise of the government and leadership. In a democratic setup, the strong opposition makes the democracy more vibrant.