The stage is all set for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form its first elected government in the frontier state of Arunachal Pradesh.
Led by incumbent chief minister Pema Khandu and state president Tapir Gao, the BJP, riding high on its development pitch has so far won 40 seats including 3 uncontested in the 60-member Assembly.
Day two of the counting saw Ziro-Hapoli sitting MLA Tage Taki retain his seat defeating Congress’ Nani Ribia by 1774 votes.
Taki broke the jinx of Ziro valley and made history as no other candidate has w on two consecutive elections from the constituency.
It was good news for the saffron party from the Seppa-West constituency as sitting MLA Mama Natung retained his seat defeating Tani Loffa of the Janata Dal United by 1554 votes.
So was the case in Changlang North and South constituencies in which BJP’s sitting MLAs Tesam Pongte and Phosum Khimhun retained their respective seats.
Pongte defeated Thinghaap Taiju of the Congress by a whopping margin of 3015 votes while Khimhun got the better of INC’s Latlang Tangha by 583 votes.
The party also registered wins at Pasighat and Nampong seats through Kaling Moyong and Laisam Simai respectively.
Simai retained his seat by defeating Tainan James Jugli of the NPP by 1,510 votes while Moyong did the same by defeating Bosiram Siram of the Congress by 1242 votes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick to congratulate chief minister Khandu for the win.
“I bow to my sisters and brothers of Arunachal Pradesh for placing their faith in @BJP4Arunachal. We will leave no stone unturned in serving the state. Congratulations to our youthful CM @PemaKhanduBJP and the entire Arunachal Pradesh BJP for the hardwork. Proud of this team!” the PM said.
In his reply to the PM’s tweet, Khandu said: “Thank you our beloved Hon’ble PM for such encouraging words for our state. We the people of Arunachal are humbled by your kind words. We promise that we will perform to the expectations of our people and the country.”
The rise of the BJP which had exploited the infighting between the rival parties to rule the state for the past two-and-a-half years has come at the cost of the Congress which managed to win only 4 seats this time.
In 2014, the Congress had swept the Assembly polls, winning 44 of the 60 seats but infighting made way to the BJP to form government in 2016.
A total of 33 of its 44 legislators led by chief minister Pema Khandu had first joined the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) and then merged into the BJP to form the government.
The BJP had managed to only win 11 seats in 2014 elections.
The Congress, which then became an opposition party in the state, had fielded candidates in 46 seats.
Congress candidates who won the Assembly polls 2019 were former two-time chief minister Nabam Tuki who retained his Sagalee seat by defeating BJP’s Tarh Hari by 1321 votes.
Sitting Lok Sabha MP for Arunachal East Ninong Ering won the Pasighat (West) Assembly seat by 571 votes against BJP’s Tatung Jomoh.
The other winning Congress candidates were sitting MLAs Wangling Lowangdang, who won Borduria Bogapani seat and Lombo Tayeng, who retained his Mebo seat.
Lowangdang defeated Jowang Hosai by 97 votes while Tayeng got the better of Dangi Perme by 372 votes. Both Hosai and Perme were BJP candidates.
Pradesh Congress Committee president Takam Sanjoy, however, faced defeat in Lekang constituency after newcomer Jummum Ete Deori of the BJP won the seat by 5493 votes.
Deori is the daughter-in-law of former Rajya Sabha MP Omem Moyong Deori.
The surprise package for this year’s election was the JD(U) which registered wins in 7 seats. The party had fielded candidates in 15 constituencies.
Fighting elections for the first time in the state, the JD(U) won the Itanagar constituency through sitting MLA Techi Kaso who defeated his nearest rival Kipa Babu of the BJP by a margin of 302 votes.
The party also grabbed the Mariyang Geku seat through Kannong Taku who won the seat against BJP’s Anong Perme by 1260 votes.
First-timers Talem Taboh and Dorjee Wangdi Kharma also registered big wins for the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar-led party in the Rumgong and Kalaktang constituencies.
Taboh defeated power minister and BJP candidate Tamiyo Taga by 265 votes, Kharma thrashed legislative Assembly speaker BJP’s Tenzing Norbu Thongdok by a margin of 1726 votes.
The JD(U) also won Bomdila, Tali and Chayang-Tajo seats through Dongru Siongju, Jikke Tako and Hayeng Mangfi respectively.
Mangfi defeated BJP’s Ealling Tallang by 29 votes and Tako defeated BJP’s Thaji Gichak Kiogi by 105 votes.
Siongju dethroned Bomdila’s sitting MLA and BJP candidate Japu Deru by 233 votes.
JD(U) national general secretary and Northeast in-charge Afique Ahmed Khan and NEEC chairman Senchumo Lotha congratulated its candidates and also thanked the people of the state for posing faith in the party.
After JD(U), Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma-led National People’s Party (NPP) also scored well in the state’s Assembly elections with 4 wins.
The party had fielded 15 candidates.
Sitting MLAs from Seppa (East), Roing and Khonsa (West) Tapuk Taku, Mutchu Mithi and late Tirong Aboh, who recently joined the NPP after the BJP’s denial to give them tickets retained their respective seats while newcomer Gokar Basar dethroned BJP’s sitting MLA Gojen Gadi from his Basar seat.
In a major setback for the NPP, former home minister Kumar Waii, who represented the Bameng seat in East Kameng district for the last two terms, lost to newcomer BJP’s Goruk Pordung. Pordung won by a margin of 393 votes.
PPA managed to win one seat through Kardo Nyigyor, who retained his Likabali seat after defeating BJP’s Tapak Lendo by a margin of 178 votes.
Counting of votes was still underway in two of the Assembly constituencies – Dumporijo and Rajga – till the filing of this report.