The two Lok Sabha seats in Arunachal Pradesh are set to witness multi-cornered fights during the single-phase polling on April 11, with a total of 12 candidates crossing swords in the battle. While five candidates have filed their nominations from Arunachal East constituency, another seven are in the fray from Arunachal West seat.
The eastern seat, with its 27 assembly segments, is likely to witness a tough fight between Tapir Gao of the BJP and James Lowangcha Wanglat of the Congress.
Two new faces – Bandey Mili of the Janata Dal (Secular) and Mongol Yomso of the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) – along with Independent candidate CC Singpho have also joined the fight from the constituency.
Both the seats are considered Congress strongholds, with the party bagging each for seven terms since 1977, when the state polled for the general election the first time.
The BJP had emerged successful from Arunachal East in 2004 and two Independent candidates won the seat for two terms – one in 1977 and the other in 1996.
In the 2009 and 2014 elections, Congress nominee Ninong Ering had secured maximum votes from the constituency.
Ering defeated his nearest rival Tapir Gao in 2014 by a margin of 12, 478 votes.
Gao, who is also the state BJP president, had wrested the constituency from Wangcha Rajkumar of the Congress in 2004 by a margin of 44,994 votes.
The Arunachal West constituency, with its 33 assembly segments, have seven candidates locking horns in the election.
Sitting BJP MP Kiren Rijiju is pitted against Congress candidate and former chief minister Nabam Tuki and Janata Dal (Secular) candidate Jarjum Ete.
The other candidates who are in the fray from the constituency are Khoda Apik of the National Peoples’ Party (NPP), Subu Kechi of the PPA, Jomin Nyokir of the All India Forward Bloc and Independent candidate Rumak Jomoh.
During 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Rijiju won the seat by defeating his nearest rival Congress nominee Takam Sanjoy by a margin of 41,738 votes.
Arunachal is set to go for simultaneous polling to the Lok Sabha and the 60-member Assembly on April 11.