Elections in Arunachal Pradesh have so far followed a pattern — the party or coalition ruling from New Delhi wins assembly elections in the state.
Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, a Congressman, is confident that his party will retain power in the state.
There is no contest in three seats, and Khandu’s constituency is one of them. The party is putting up candidates in all the remaining 57 assembly constituencies in the state.
Though Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Trinamool Congress are the Congress’s allies at the Centre, they are contesting independently in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Congress’s main worry, though, is disgruntled elements within the party — 14 MLAs of the party are contesting this time on the tickets of the NCP, Trinamool and BJP. The BJP has put up candidates in only 18 seats against 39 in 2004. The NCP is fielding 36 candidates, the Trinamool 26, and the People’s Party of Arunachal 11.
While the Congress is harping on the prime minister’s Rs 24,000 crore infrastructure development package in its campaign, the others are highlighting the security threat from China, no movement in empowering women, and corruption.
Changing sides has been part of the state’s politics.
In September 2003, most of the Congress and the regional Arunachal Congress MLAs changed sides overnight to give the BJP its first government in the northeast.
But after the Congress-led government was formed at the Centre in 2004, many came back to the party to give it a simple majority in the assembly. The party won 34 seats in the 2004 state elections against the BJP’s nine.