Straight Fight in Arunachal Pradesh

Straight Fight in Arunachal Pradesh
The Arunachal West Lok Sabha constituency will witness a virtual straight fight between sitting BJP Lok Sabha member Kiren Rijiju and former education minister Sanjoy of the ruling Congress.

The 37-year old Rijiju belongs to Nyishi community, the dominant tribe of Arunachal which constitutes one-third of the four lakh voters.

He claims his victory is certain as the state always elects ruling party candidates to parliament.

The massive Rs 24,000 crore financial package to the state announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year would make the people gratefully reciprocate by electing him.

Rijiju claims that before him no MP from the border tribal state could raise issues as effectively as he did which has endeared him to the people.

He was able to bring BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani and party president Rajnath Singh to campaign for him.

Advani at an election rally at Seppa highlighted Rijiju securing a diplomatic visa from China enabling him to witness the Olympics.

China has all along refused visas to chief ministers and MPs, MLAs from Arunachal as it claims the state as its territory.

On the other hand, ask Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu about the prospects of Congress candidate Sanjoy and he will pose a counter question "tell me when did a ruling party candidate in Arunachal fail to win a parliamentary election since 1977 when the state, formerly known as NEFA, went to polls for the first time?"

Although the nyishis and the large number of non-tribal settlers in the state capital matter most in an election in Arunachal West constituency, non-nyishis have won the seat in the past.

It was represented by two former union ministers P.K. Thungan and Omak Apang.

The last time Rijiju, a non-nyishi, won the seat.

Rijiju claims he does not have the resources of the Congress candidate and is fully relying on his performance.

He released CD's containing his speeches in parliament posters, launched an SMS campaign and organised rallies.

On the other hand, Sanjoy whose candidature was announced recently is concentrating only on rallies and door to door campaign.

The chief minister and ministerial colleagues are on tour to campaign for him. All 33 MLAs have been told that they will get tickets for the state assembly elections due in six months only if they could secure enough votes for Sanjoy.

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