Landslide victory for BJP in Arunachal Pradesh assembly polls

The saffron party has clinched 40 seats out of the 60 seats in the state including three, which were won unopposed.

Published: 24th May 2019 12:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th May 2019 12:31 AM   |  A+A-

BJP flags

For representational purposes (File Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The BJP has swept Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh. The state has 60 seats and the BJP has so far won 40 of them, including three which were won unopposed. The party won 37 of the 55 seats  where results were declared so far following counting of votes. The BJP had also bagged the state’s two Parliamentary seats. 

The Janata Dal (United) was a distant second in the Assembly elections with seven seats. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party (NPP) and Congress bagged four seats each. Two others went to independent candidates while one was won by the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA).

The JD (U) was second time lucky. Back in 2009, it had contested in three seats and lost in all of them. Most JD (U) and NPP candidates are former BJP MLAs and its leaders. They had deserted the saffron party on being denied tickets.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu, his deputy Chowna Mein and most Ministers were among the winners. The prominent losers include former Home Minister Kumar Waii, Minister Tamio Taga and three-time former MLA Gojen Gadi. Kumar Waii and another Minister Jarkar Gamlin were sacked by the CM in March. Gamlin did not contest the elections.

Slain MLA and NPP candidate Tirong Aboh has won from his Khonsa West seat in Tirap district. He defeated the BJP’s Phawang Lowang by 1,055 votes. Aboh, his son and nine others were gunned down by suspected militants on Tuesday when they were travelling from Assam’s Dibrugarh to Khonsa.

This is for the first time that the BJP rose to power in the Himalayan state by winning an election. It had captured power twice in the past but that was through political maneuvering vis-à-vis the politics of defections. 

In December 2016, Pema Khandu, who was then a Congress Minister, had taken over as the CM after Nabam Tuki relinquished the post in the wake of a power struggle. However, soon, Khandu and a large number of his Congress colleagues defected to the PPA, effectively making it a PPA government. A few months later, barring a few, they defected to the BJP.

In  August 2003, the BJP had taken over the government from the United Democratic Front and was in power for eight months when the then CM Gegong Apang of Arunachal Congress and MLAs from various other political parties defected to the saffron party. Then, for most part, the state was ruled by the Congress.

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