'BJP will have its first elected govt in Arunachal'

Last Updated 25 March 2019, 03:48 IST

BJP had formed its government twice in Arunachal Pradesh--first in 2003 and again in 2016 after MLAs of other parties switched to its fold.

They have never been elected to power in the frontier state.

The saffron party, however, wants to break the jinx in the ensuing Assembly elections slated on April 11.

"We will do very well this time and we will form an elected government for the first time in the state," BJP general secretary and in-charge of Northeast, Ram Madhab told reporters here on Sunday.

Elections to the 60-member Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats will be held together on April 11. Union minister of state for home affairs, Kiren Rijiu and president of the party's state unit, Tapir Gao are contesting in the two seats.

BJP formed its first government in 2003 when MLAs of Arunachal Congress led by Gegong Apang had defected to the saffron party. In December 2016, 33 of the 44 MLAs led by present chief minister Pema Khandu left People's Party of Arunachal (PPA) and joined BJP. Khandu-led camp, who were elected in 2014 in Congress tickets had earlier joined PPA.

"Unholy alliance in Assam"

Ram Madhab alleged that Congress and Maulana Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF are having an "unholy alliance" to tackle "Narendra Modi wave" and BJP in Assam in the Lok Sabha elections.

"The opposition parties don't have the courage and strength to face BJP in Assam. They don't have any issue to fight the leadership of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Himanta Biswa Sarma. So Congress and AIUDF have resorted to an unholy alliance to face us. People of Assam will reject such alliance," Madhab said here.

Out of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam, BJP is contesting in 10 seats while its allies, AGP will fight in three Muslim-majority constituencies and BPF in one (Kokrajhar).

BJP leaders alleged that Congress and AIUDF had reached into a secret understanding to support each other in Dhubri and Kaliabor seats. "Congress will either not field or field a weak candidate in Dhubri to help Ajmal win and in return, AIUDF will do the same in Kaliabor for Tarun Gogoi's son Gaurav," a source said.

Congress also levelled the same charge of "secret understanding" between BJP and AIUDF.

NEDA convenor, Himanta Biswa Sarma said BJP was not worried about Congress-AIUDF alliance as both represented the politics to "appease a particular community." Many said Sarma was referring to the 33% Muslim voters in the state.

(Published 25 March 2019, 03:42 IST)

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