Will BJP have its first elected govt in Arunachal ?

Will BJP have its first elected govt in Arunachal ?

 Chief Minister Pema Khandu. (Image courtesy Twitter)

Elections for 57 of the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly will be held on Thursday, where the BJP is eyeing its first elected government.

Congress had won the 2014 Assembly elections but 33 of its 44 MLAs led by Chief Minister Pema Khandu first joined People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) and then merged with BJP in 2016 to form the government. The BJP had formed its first government in the frontier state in 2003 when MLAs of Arunachal Congress led by Gegong Apang had defected to the saffron party.
The saffron party got an early boost to its ambition this time as three of its candidates were declared winners unopposed.

A total of 181 candidates are vying for the 57 Assembly seats while elections for the two Lok Sabha seats will also be held on Thursday. Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju is a star candidate for BJP against former chief minister and Congress leader Nabam Tuki in Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat.

While the fight for the new Assembly seems to be between BJP and Congress, parties like PPA, NPP, JD (U) and JD (S) too has fielded candidates, some of whom were denied tickets either by BJP or Congress. NPP is an ally of the present BJP-led government.

BJP is contesting in all 57 seats while Congress has fielded candidates in 46 seats. This made many believe that small parties could play king makers role in case of a hung Assembly.

BJP is flagging the Centre’s projects to connect Arunachal Pradesh with better roads, rail network and air transport, Congress is focusing more on the youths and the permanent residence certificate (PRC) issue, which left the state into turmoil recently. Congress, in its manifesto, has promised Rs 5,000 monthly for the graduates without jobs and financial assistance up to Rs 20 lakh for higher education to deserving students.

Election officials are expecting a better turnout this time compared to 76.96% in 2014 elections.