GUWAHATI: It was a double blow for former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gegong Apang after both he and his son bit the dust in the Assembly elections, the results of which were declared on Thursday.
Apang, the once invincible and powerful king, lost to former radio artiste Alo Libang of the Nationalist Congress Party by 1,370 votes in Tuting Yingkiong constituency.
The former Chief Minister had won seven times from here earlier.
Apang’s son and former Union Mini s ter, Omak Apang, was defeated by the state unit president of BJP Dr Tangor Tapak in Pasighat West constituency by a margin of 636 votes.
The 62-year-old Gegong Apang ruled Arunachal Pradesh for 23 years, 19 of them on the trot from 1980 to 1999. He could have made history as India’s longest serving Chief Minister but fell short of the mark by nine months set by Jyoti Basu of West Bengal. However, he set a record of sorts by making Arunachal Pradesh the first BJP-ruled state, albeit only for a year.
Known for his flip-flop, Apang changed his political colours from the Congress to Arunachal Congress to the BJP and back to the Congress.
Many attribute his downfall to his alleged involvement in a multi-crore rupee public distribution system scam that led to his removal from the post of Chief Minister.
In 2007, the CBI had chargesheeted him in the scam. Later, in the face of growing dissidence within the Congress, the party high command removed him from the post of Chief Minister and Dorjee Khandu took over his place.
With he being sidelined in the party and forgotten by voters, now it remains to be seen as Apang has taken ‘sanyas’ from active politics.
On Thursday, the Apangs remained incommunicado the whole day after their defeat.
In the run upto the elections, Gegong Apang had told the media that he would quit politics if the people so wanted.