GUWAHATI: By-election to Khonsa West seat in Arunachal Pradesh will be contested only by independent candidates.
Official sources said never before an election to a constituency in the state had been contested only by independent candidates. The by-election has been necessitated by the killing of sitting MLA, Tirong Aboh.
“This is for the first time that election to a constituency in Arunachal Pradesh will be contested only by the independent candidates. Four candidates have filed nominations. It remains to be seen if there is any withdrawal. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 3,” Tirap Returning Officer PM Thungon told this newspaper.
Five major political parties such as BJP, Congress, People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA), Janata Dal (United) and National People’s Party (NPP) decided against contesting. They are backing Chakat Aboh, widow of Tirong Aboh. This is also for the first time in the state that all political parties are together endorsing a candidate.
On Saturday, they met in state capital Itanagar and unanimously resolved to back Chakat. The meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Pema Khandu. The political parties believed Chakat would be able to carry forward the legacy of her husband.
She expressed her gratitude to the political parties for the sympathy shown to her. She said Khandu had stood by her since the time of her husband’s killing.
The 42-year-old Tirong Aboh and ten others, including his son Longgem, were killed in an ambush by major insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) at Bogapani village, some 25 km from district headquarters Khonsa, on May 21.
The attack was carried out just four days ahead of the declaration of Arunachal election results. He had won the polls contesting as a candidate of the NPP.
In August, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing the massacre, had released photographs and names of five NSCN-IM insurgents, who were allegedly involved in the killings, and announced cash rewards seeking information about them.