Elections for the 60-member Assembly is all set to be held on April 11 in Arunachal Pradesh. A total of 184 candidates will be contesting the polls.The counting of votes for the same will be held on May 23. 11 women candidates are also in fray. With nine first time contestants in both assembly and Lok Sabha, this is the highest number of women candidates in the state till date. Of the 11 assembly poll contestants, the Congress has fielded five women candidates, the ruling BJP nominated three, while the People's Party of Arunachal (PPA) and the JD(U) selected one each.
A report by an election watchdog has revealed that 29 of the 184 candidates contesting elections have criminal backgrounds. The BJP, which is contesting all 60 seats in the State for the first time, has seven candidates with criminal charges against them, it said.
The National People’s Party, which is making its maiden entry into the State’s electoral scene, has two candidates with criminal records.
Arunachal Pradesh voted several women representatives to the state assembly in the past. Sibo Kai was the first woman legislator after she was nominated to the assembly in 1978 when the state was a union territory. Nyari Welly was the first elected woman MLA of the state when she won on a PPA ticket in 1980. She was re-elected in 1984 as a Congress candidate.
Assembly Polls in Arunachal Pradesh will be held along with the Lok Sabha Polls simultaneously. Earlier, the Election Commission announced that the assembly elections in four states – Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Odisha and Arunachal Pradesh – will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir will not be held along with the general elections.
(With inputs from agencies)