In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi will blow the poll bugle in the north-eastern states starting on Tuesday. Gandhi will visit the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Manipur. “During his two day long visit to the three northeastern states, Rahul Gandhi will address several election rallies apart from meeting Congress office bearers,” said Congress spokesperson Szarita Laitphlang.
Rahul Gandhi is expected to address a public meeting at Indira Gandhi Park Ground in Itanagar. Following that the Congress president will address a meeting of extended PCC with DCC and Block presidents in Itanagar. Assembly elections in Arunachal will be held on April 11. Thereafter, he will travel to Imphal to hold more meetings with extended PCC there.
Arunchal Congress leader Ninong Ering, who won from East Lok Sabha seat in 2014, will contest the Assembly polls and is likely to be fielded from Pasighat West constituency. The Congress has decided to field former chief minister Nabam Tuki against Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju in Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat. Tuki was the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh between 2011 and 2016. Tuki had to face a banner of revolt in 2016 following which President’s Rule was imposed in the state.
Congress Legislature Party leader Okram Ibobi and Manipur Congress unit President Gaikhangam said, “Our party president will arrive at Imphal from Arunachal Pradesh on March 19. He is likely to halt the night. He is scheduled to address a public meeting at Hafta Kangjeibung the next day after which he will leave for Tripura.” Of the 25 MPs to be elected by the north-eastern states, two would be from Manipur. The Congress is yet to announce the names of candidates for the two seat --- Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur parliamentary constituencies --- and it is likely that declarations will be made after the meeting.
Manipur will go to the polls on April 11 for the Outer seat covering the hill districts and April 18 for the Inner constituency in the valley areas. While seven individuals have reportedly applied for Congress tickets for the Outer Manipur seat, nine are interested in applying for a ticket for the Inner Manipur constituency, a Congress leader said.