Voting on in 6 Northeast seats, regional parties in the limelight
New Delhi: The Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur began voting in the second phase on April 9. Two Lok Sabha seats in Meghalaya, the only Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland, one of the two Lok Sabha seats in Manipur and both the Lok Sabha seats in Arunachal Pradesh are electing their Members of Parliament.
Arunachal Pradesh is also voting for the state Assembly. It has a 60-member Assembly and the ruling Congress dissolved the Assembly to club it with the Lok Sabha elections. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki is contesting from Sagalee Assembly seat. Interestingly, 11 Congress candidates including the Nabam Tuki are set to be elected unopposed to the party-ruled Arunachal Pradesh Assembly after the withdrawal of nominations by the opposition BJP. Nabam Tuki was left without a rival in the Sagalee seat after his lone BJP rival Nabam Tade withdrew his nominations.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is contesting in the Lok Sabha polls on his Naga People Front (NPF) ticket. Besides Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Neiphiu Rio is the only serving chief minister who is trying his luck in the Lok Sabha elections.
Rio, who has been the chief minister of Nagaland since 2003, claims that his state wants a strong voice in Parliament and he is ready to sacrifice the post of chief minister for the post of an ordinary MP.
In Meghalaya with two Lok Sabha seats, former Lok Sabha Speaker and former chief minister PA Sangma is contesting from Tura instead of his daughter and former Union minister Agatha Sangma. Union minister Vincent Pala is contesting from Shillong Lok Sabha seat on the Congress ticket.
Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Ninong Ering is contesting from Arunachal East Lok Sabha seat. Election to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram has been postponed to April 11 due to a state bandh against Bru (Reang) refugees.
The fate of Congress MP from Arunachal Takam Sanjoy, BJP leaders and former MPs Kiren Rijiju and Tapir Gao and Trinamool Congress candidate and former president of the North East Students’ Organisation, Gumjum Haider will also be decided in the polling.
Key candidates and seats
Neiphiu Rio, CM of Nagaland – NPF – Nagaland
PA Sangma – Tura – National People’s Party
Vincent Pala – Shillong – Congress
Ninong Ering – Congress – Arunachal East
Arunachal Pradesh Assembly polls
Chief Minister Nabam Tuki has been elected unopposed from Sagalee Assembly seat. Voting taking place in 49 assembly seats, 11 Congress candidates have been elected unopposed.
6 Lok Sabha seats
Arunachal Pradesh – 2
Meghalaya – 2
Manipur – 1
Nagaland – 1
ADR report on Lok Sabha Phase 2
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has analyzed self-sworn affidavits of all 37 candidates contesting in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Just one candidate who caused a loss of Rs 50, has a criminal background. There are 23 crorepati candidates and six of them have declared properties worth over Rs 10 crore. Rs 9.12 crore is the average assets of these candidates.
Total 7 Lok Sabha seats are voting in the second phase on April 9 – 2 seats in Arunachal Pradesh, 2 seats in Meghalaya, 1 seat in Mizoram, 1 seat in Manipur and 1 seat in Nagaland.
Subu Kechu, an independent candidate from Arunachal West has declared a case against him in which he allegedly caused a loss of Rs 50.
LS polls phase 2: Just one candidate who caused a loss of Rs 50 has a criminal charge against him.
The Congress has 5, the BJP has 4 and the AAP has 3 crorepati candidates in the fray.
The richest candidate in the fray is Independent candidate from Shillong Denis Siangshai who has declared assets worth over Rs 128 crore. The Congress candidate from Shillong and union minister Vincent H Pala has declared assets worth over Rs 49 crores.
The NCP candidate from Arunachal West Gicho Kabak is the poorest with assets worth just Rs 4 lakh.
A high 81 per cent of the candidates are graduates and above while 14 per cent are 12th pass and below, 3 per cent are illiterate and 2 per cent have not given their educational qualification details.
While 49 per cent of the candidates are in the age group of 25-50 years, 35 per cent are in the age group of 51-70 years and 16 per cent are above 70 years.
A total of 95 per cent of the candidates are male and mere 5 per cent candidates are female.