Itanagar: Despite all political parties of Arunachal Pradesh, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), declaring Chakat Aboh, the wife of slain MLA Tirong Aboh, their consensus candidate for the Khonsa West assembly constituency, the State’s Election Commission, on Monday, unexpectedly received nominations from three other candidates for the seat.
The said seat had fallen vacant after its sitting MLA Tirong Aboh and 10 others were brutally killed by suspected insurgents in Tirap district on May 21 this year.
Monday (September 30), which also marked the last day for filing nominations for the Khonsa (West) assembly constituency that will go to by-elections on October 21, saw Wangchu Lowang, Azet Yangli Humtok and Yumsen Matey file their nominations besides Chakat Aboh which has left many questions the intention of the candidates as well as that of some big names in the ruling BJP government.
Surprisingly, Phawang Lowang, who was slain MLA Aboh’s only opponent in this year’s assembly elections, however, did not file his nomination.
“Though there was so much empathy shown by the political leaders of our state, including chief minister Pema Khandu to Late Tirong Aboh’s family after the May 21 massacre, it is sad to know that Chakat still has to fight the by-polls against three others as an ‘independent’ candidate. If there is a consensus from all political parties and its leaders, why wasn’t Chakat given the ticket of a party, maybe that of the BJP?” questioned Chaphey Dada Hakhun, wife of Wangnoi Hakhun who was the state general secretary of National People’s Party and who was killed along with Aboh during the massacre.
Chaphey told EastMojo that Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Khandu had asked Chakat Aboh to resign from her job and promised that she would be provided all support as per her will, and still a BJP ticket to contest the by-polls was not given to her.
“There have been many situations of political sympathy where the wife of a sitting MLA has been elected unopposed with the ticket from the ruling government. We can take examples of Niani Natung, wife of former education minister Late Dera Natung, Gum Tayeng, wife of Late Jomin Tayeng and most importantly that of Dasanglu Pul’s who was the wife of former chief minister Late Kalikho Pul.
The ruling government (BJP) supported Dasanglu completely even though Late Pul was from a different party at the time he died. When such political sympathy had been doing its way, why is Chakat Aboh, who lost not only her husband but also her son not being treated in the same way?” Chaphey questioned.
Meanwhile, sources told EastMojo that though CM Khandu supported Chakat Aboh and was willing to offer her a BJP ticket, it was allegedly deputy chief minister Chowna Mein and Arunachal East MP and BJP’s state president Tapir Gao who were reluctant in doing so.
As per our sources, Gao was hesitant to provide Chakat Aboh a ticket as he had garnered very less votes from the Dadam area (native village of Late Tirong Aboh) in the Lok Sabha elections, whereas Mein reportedly has been supporting Yumsen Matey (one of the candidates of the by-poll) as the candidate for the Khonsa (West) seat since many years.
Gao, when contacted, denied the allegations.
“We want the by-election to be peaceful. Moreover, all the parties had decided not to field any candidate for the Khonsa West Assembly constituency and we (BJP) also decided to do the same,” Gao said.
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein also had a similar statement.
“I support the collective decision of not fielding any candidate of any political party. More importantly I do not have any personal grudges or indifferences with Late Aboh’s family,” Mein said.
Meanwhile, October 1 is the day for scrutiny of nominations and October 3 is the day for withdrawal of the same.
Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh BJP is organising its state executive meeting at the Art of Living Center at Jully in Itanagar on Tuesday.
BJP’s national general secretary (organisation) BL Santosh, and other central leaders will attend the state executive meeting along with the chief minister and his council of ministers.