Itanagar: In the 2019 state assembly elections, the results of which were declared on Thursday, Arunachal Pradesh witnessed the highest number of women candidates in fray till date.
In the 60-member legislative assembly, 11 women contested this time, which was four more than the 2014 elections — seven women candidates were in fray then. In all, while the Congress fielded five women candidates, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded only three — the only three that made it to the legislative assembly.
The BJP’s candidates this year were Gum Tayeng of Dambuk, Jummum Ete Deori of Lekang and Dasanglu Pul of Hayuliang assembly constituencies. While Tayeng and Pul were re-elected from their respective constituencies, Deori, who fought for the first time this year, stole the show with her victory over her rival, Takam Sanjoy — the president of the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee.
Pul is the widow of former chief minister Kalikho Pul, who committed suicide on August 9, 2016. After months of intense political turmoil, Pul had taken over the reins of the state on February 19, 2016 but had to surrender following a Supreme Court order in July.
Sorsomi Degio of Seppa West, Dayum Yara of Tali, Kabak Soping of Raga, Yaman Bagra of Along West and Komoli Mosang of Nampong were the Congress’ candidates this year.
Apart from BJP and Congress, Janata Dal United (JDU) also fielded a woman candidate from Lekang assembly constituency, Padmeshwari Jamoh. She fought her elections for the first time.
Interestingly, Lekang was the only constituency in Arunachal Pradesh which had two women candidates contesting for a seat, one from BJP and the other from JDU.
Yari Tok, an independent candidate of Bordumsa-Diyun assembly constituency, fought her elections for the first time. She was also the youngest among the total of 181 candidates in 2019 elections.
When the state was a union territory, Sibo Kai was the first woman legislator after she was nominated to the assembly in 1978. Nyari Welly was the first elected woman MLA of Arunachal Pradesh, who fought her elections on a PPA ticket in 1980. She was re-elected as a Congress candidate in 1984.
Some of the previous woman MLAs also include O M Deori (1990), Yadap Apang (1995), Mekup Dolo (1999), Niani Natung (2001), Yari Dulom (2002), Nang Sati Mein and Karya Bagang (2009).