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Cong, BJP in dilemma over candidate list

Tezpur, March 14: The two national parties — the Congress and BJP — are finding it hard to finalise the names of candidates for the April 9 Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh.

The state polls will be held simultaneously with the two Lok Sabha seats on the same day.

The 60-member Assembly was dissolved on March 6 on the recommendation of the Nabam Tuki cabinet.

The Congress had 55 members in the dissolved House while the BJP and the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) three and one respectively.

The polls could see keen contests between the Congress and the BJP.

Congress insiders said the party was witnessing intense lobbying for tickets with many aspirants making a beeline for the national capital.

The Congress, however, has re-nominated Takam Sanjay and Ninong Ering for the two Lok Sabha seats from the state.

Arunachal PCC president Mukut Mithi, who is currently camping in New Delhi, said no decision was taken regarding finalisation of the names but the list might come out in a day or two.

The Opposition BJP, too, is having major trouble finalising names of party candidates. The recent entry of many veteran leaders from other parties is said to have created division between “old and new” BJP leaders.

Party cadres are unhappy with new entrants seeking party tickets. With five applicants, including AAPSU president Takam Tatung and businessman Lishi Ronie, there is strong lobbying for the for the prestigious Itanagar Assembly constituency.

Arunachal state BJP president Tai Tagak, who is also in New Delhi to finalise the list of candidates, said they would make the list public on March 15. Tatung was formally welcomed by Tagak in the presence of party leaders, including BJP vice-president Techi Necha and senior leader Bai Gadi.

PPA has already announced two lists of candidates.

Its president, Nikh Kamin, a former MLA from Yachuli now contesting from Bordumsa-Diyun Assembly constituency, said, “Bordumsa-Diyun Assembly constituency comes under general category and any Indian can fight election from there. With just one day remaining for the issuing of notification for Assembly election, it will be interesting to see how long the BJP and the Congress will take to make public the names of the candidates.”

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