Counting of votes is under way for 60 Assembly constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday. Pema Khandu-led Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in 10 seats and had won 15. The Congress has won three seats, the Janata Dal (United) has won three and is ahead in two seats, Independents have won one seat and are leading in another, and the People’s Party of Arunachal is leading in one seat, the Election Commission said.
Election Commission trends showed the Pema Khandu-led Bharatiya Janata Party leading in 14 of 19 constituencies for which the status is known. The Janata Dal (United) is leading with three and Independent with two seats.
Assembly elections were held on April 11, concurrently with the first phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress had won the 2014 Assembly polls in the state under its leader Nabam Tuki. However, following a yearlong political crisis, Khandu took oath as the chief minister on July 17, 2016. On September 16 that year, Khandu, along with 43 MLAs from the ruling party, defected from the Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Tuki, however, remained with the Congress.
The Congress’ strength had been reduced to five MLAs in the outgoing legislature following the defections. The BJP, on the other hand, had 48 MLAs. The BJP, the Congress, the National People’s Party and the People’s Party of Arunachal are the main parties contesting the 2019 elections. The National People’s Party is a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
Three BJP MLAs – Phurpa Tsering from Dirang Assembly seat, Taba Tedir from Yachuli and Kento Jini from Along East have been elected unopposed.
On Tuesday, National People’s Party MLA Tirong Aboh, a candidate for the Khonsa West Assembly seat, was shot dead when he was on his way to his constituency. Ten other people were also killed in the attack. Militants of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland are suspected to be responsible for the attack.
Around 500 masked men allegedly attacked a polling team in Kurung Kumey district of the state on Monday, and fled with the electronic voting machines the team was carrying. The team was on its way to the Nampe polling station, where a re-poll for the Lok Sabha elections was scheduled for Tuesday.