Rijiju Confident Of Winning Fourth Term From Arunachal West Lok Sabha Seat

The Union Earth Sciences minister asserted that political opposition is a natural facet of democracy, stressing that dissent from certain quarters does not equate to anti-incumbency.

Kiren Rijiju shows confidence in winning the Arunachal West Lok Sabha Seat

Union Minister and senior BJP leader Kiren Rijiju dismissed notions of an anti-incumbency wave against him in the Arunachal West Parliamentary seat and exuded confidence in securing a fourth term.

The Union Earth Sciences minister asserted that political opposition is a natural facet of democracy, stressing that dissent from certain quarters does not equate to anti-incumbency.

Real voters are the ones who shape electoral outcomes, not a handful of political activists, Rijiju claimed, underlining his track record of tangible development initiatives across Arunachal Pradesh.

"There is nothing called anti-incumbency. It is a part of a democracy where some people will always oppose you. Some people opposing you politically are not called anti-incumbency. Last elections also many people thought there was anti-incumbency against me but you saw the result", he said in an exclusive interview with PTI.

Rijiju had won the Arunachal West Parliamentary seat by a margin of 1,74,843 votes in 2019 defeating his nearest rival Nabam Tuki of the Congress.

"Not only in Arunachal Pradesh but the amount of help I extended beyond my ministerial and MP positions, beyond sanctions and schemes will be equivalent to 50 MPs. We have around 39 MPs from northeast. If one put 38 MPs on one side and me on the other, the fund I generated is more than them", he said.

Rijiju claimed that the quantum of equipment he had provided to almost all the district hospitals and major public health centres in the state including, Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) and Ramakrishna Mission Hospital, during his tenures, is not less them 50 MPs.

"Frontier highway was not even in the figment of imagination of the people. Nobody demanded that there should be a highway to Koloriang in remote Kurung Kumey, a double-lane highway to Bameng, Khenewa and Lada in East Kameng, national highway to Tali, Pipsorang, Damin and Sarli in Kra Daadi district but all these projects are my voluntary concept which Prime Minister Narendra Modi fulfilled as per my proposals and requests", the minister said.

These projects are not easy to execute as they require lots of planning, hard work and management, he said.

"Everything is going as per my plan. Works on all my ambitious projects are going on and all my dreams are in the pipeline including the Trans Arunachal Highway, roads to the border areas, Frontier highway, the railway lines and airports. The East-West Industrial Corridor is going on a snail's pace because of issues due to reserved forest and wildlife sanctuaries which fall in some stretches of the road", he said.

All my dreams are getting realised. My ultimate aim is to make Arunachal the highest per capita income state in the country which will be fulfilled in the next few years, he claimed.

Reflecting on the upcoming elections, Rijiju highlighted continuity in the agenda set forth by the Modi government as the primary issue, emphasising the need to sustain the momentum of development initiatives.

He expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his unwavering support and pledged to seek blessings from the electorate to continue the work initiated by the government. On his probable winning margins, Rijiju said that it is not good to talk about margins but it is people's decision and he finds no reason that people should not vote for him.

On several ministries, he was assigned to, he said that it is difficult to tell which ministry he liked the most but the Earth Sciences ministry is new to him which provided him with a lot of new learning.

"I was MoS for Home for five years and my maximum contribution to Arunachal came during this tenure. I was also the minister for Ayush and minority affairs. The money which we received under the Minority Affairs ministry is more than anybody can imagine. Earlier from the ministry we must have received Rs 50-60 crore but within the last four years, we received more than Rs 500 crore. As the Sports minister, Arunachal got a record amount of funds much more than bigger states of the country", he claimed.

Regarding the denial of party tickets to some sitting ministers and MLAs in the state, Rijiju attributed it to the party's strategic decision-making process and its broader vision of service beyond electoral mandates.

He outlined the BJP's endeavour to cultivate a culture where individuals can contribute to society through various capacities beyond elected positions.

"There are many senior leaders in the party who never fought elections but they always serve the society through party positions", he added.

When asked about his priorities in the next term if the BJP returns to power, the minister disclosed that it would be very critical for him as all the basic requirements to the people including road, air, rail and digital connectivity, electricity, drinking water, shelter and food security, schemes for women, LPG connections have been provided for their survival.

"In my next term, my focus will be to enhance the income of people, raise living standards, better economic policy, better commercial activities, and more manufacturing units, more employment generations and opportunities, skill development which will raise the happiness index among the people", he added.

Elections to the two Lok Sabha seats (Arunachal West and Arunachal East) and the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly will be held simultaneously on April 19.