Arunachal Pradesh for simultaneous Lok Sabha, assembly polls

February 22nd, 2009 - 2:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiItanagar, Feb 22 (IANS) The Arunachal Pradesh government has requested the Election Commission to conduct polling for the 60-member state assembly simultaneously with the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, a minister here said.
“The state cabinet headed by Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu at a meeting here late Saturday endorsed the decision of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) to prepone the assembly polls and hold them along with the Lok Sabha elections to save money, time and energy,” state Parliamentary Affairs Minister and government spokesman Tako Dabi said Sunday.

The minister told reporters that Arunachal Pradesh Congress chief Nabam Tuki would visit Delhi soon to apprise the party chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the high command and other Central leaders besides the Election Commission about the decision.

The Arunachal Pradesh assembly elections are scheduled to be held in October later this year. Arunachal Pradesh is the only state in the country where there are no opposition party members in the state assembly.

In the 60-seat assembly, Congress alone has 44 members while 14 independents and two members of the Arunachal Congress support the ruling party. Nine Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators and two members of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had joined Congress last year.

The Congress came to the power in the state, bordering China, in assembly elections in 2004 defeating BJP and other smaller parties.

Meanwhile, to oppose the Congress in the ensuing elections, a new political forum called Arunachal Democratic Alliance (ADA) came into existence in the state last week.

The newly formed ADA comprises six political parties - the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA), Arunachal Congress (AC), Janata Dal (United), Lok Bharati (LB) and Lok Janashakti Party (LJP).

The parties will field candidates in all the 60 Assembly seats, besides two parliamentary constituencies.

“The key issue in the coming election for the ADA would be to root out the Congress government in the state that has failed to provide good and transparent governance in the state,” said C.T. Manpoong, chairman of the ADA.

“Seat sharing and other poll issues would be decided at a meeting here Feb 23, involving the respective presidents of all the six parties,” he added.

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