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Mithi nominated for Rajya Sabha

Itanagar, June 9: The Congress in Arunachal Pradesh will seek to retain the lone Rajya Sabha seat after former member Mukut Mithiís nomination was filed at the state legislative Assembly today.

Although the Congress enjoys the cosy position of having 41 MLAs who will eventually elect the MP, the state unit of the BJP is not backing out from the fight.

The party, which has 11 MLAs, has chosen former legislator Tapen Siga as its nominee.

Mithi, who is also the Arunachal PCC president, entered the Upper House of Parliament in May 2008 and his term expired on May 26 this year. A former chief minister of the state, Mithi was also the lieutenant governor of Puducherry from July 2006 to March 2008 when he resigned to re-enter politics.

With the numbers stacked against him, the BJPís Siga would look to win favour from the Congress after it had refused to withdraw its nomination for the Deputy Speakerís post.

Earlier, when the Congressís Nabam Rebia was elected Speaker during the first session of the Assembly, the state BJP had filed Tumke Bagraís name for the Deputy Speakerís post and had appealed to the Congress to follow convention by allowing the sharing of posts.

Chief minister Nabam Tuki and the CLP, however, refused to give in to the plea, which led to the BJP withdrawing its nominee and the eventual elevation of Tenzing Thongdok as Deputy Speaker.

The BJP had not failed to express its displeasure over the decision.

Siga had earlier lost the Daporijo Assembly seat to the Congressís Dikto Yekar during the April 9 election. Together with the five MLAs of the Peopleís Party of Arunachal and two Independents, non-Congress MLAs make up 18 of the 60 members. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is June 12 and counting of votes will take place on the day of polling on June 19.