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Congress names 34 candidates in first list for Arunachal assembly polls

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Itanagar, March 21:  The Congress on Thursday announced its first list of 34 candidates for the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh assembly elections, scheduled on April 19.

Arunachal Pradesh Congress president and former chief minister Nabam Tuki and state vice-president in-charge Bosiram Siram were not in the list, signed by AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal.

A party source here said that Tuki is likely to contest from the Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat against the ruling BJP nominee and Union minister for earth sciences Kiren Rijiju and Siram would be pitted against BJP candidate Tapir Gao in the Arunachal East seat.

Veteran Congress leader Tuki is the sitting MLA from the Sagalee constituency in Papumpare district since 1991.

Among the 34 candidates, mostly first-time contenders, there are three former ministers — Kumar Wali (Bameng), Takam Pario (Palin), and Tanga Byaling (Nacho) and three women contenders — Gollo Yapung Tana (Pakke Kessang), Jermai Krong (Tezu) and Marina Kenglang (Changlang North).

First-time candidate Sanhey Phutsok would contest against Chief Minister and BJP candidate Pema Khandu in Mukto assembly constituency while debutant Bayamso Kri would contest against Deputy Chief Minister and BJP contender Chowna Mein in Chowkham seat.

Yumlam Achung, who unsuccessfully contested from the vital Itanagar constituency in 2019, is contesting for the second time along with Chatu Longri from the Miao constituency.

In the 2019 assembly polls, the Congress fielded candidates in 46 seats out of the total 60 but could manage to win in only four.

The party last month just ahead of the announcement of the election schedule suffered a major jolt when three of the four sitting MLAs – legislature party leader Lombo Tayeng, Ninong Ering and Wangliln Lowangdong – quit the party and joined the ruling BJP.

The BJP last week announced all 60 candidates for the upcoming assembly elections.

Chief Minister Khandu will re-contest again from the Mukto seat, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein from his Chowkham seat, and Assembly Speaker Pasang Dorjee Sona from his Mechuka seat.

The Congress is yet to announce its candidates for the two Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Assembly and Lok Sabha elections will be held simultaneously in the border state on April 19.

IANS

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