ITANAGAR: Putting all speculations to rest, the Congress has fielded former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and former Home Minister James Lowangcha Wanglat as candidates from West and East Parliamentary constituencies respectively for the April 11 simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the State.
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) announced the names of Tuki and Wanglat along with other 25 candidates in its fourth list released on Saturday night. The party leadership dropped former Union Minister and sitting MP from Arunachal East constituency Ninong Ering and replaced him with Wanglat.
Tuki, who served as the Chief Minister of the Himalayan State for two times, is also set to contest the Assembly elections on a party ticket from Sagalee Assembly constituency which he has been representing for several terms, party sources informed here on Sunday.
Though Tuki did not apply for the Lok Sabha ticket, the party nominated him keeping in view of his popularity among the masses and considering various aspects of winning chances, the sources said.
The Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) had recommended for names including Tuki, Jarjum Ete, Khyoda Apik and Geli Ete for the Arunachal West Parliamentary constituency but the party’s central leadership found Tuki as the best option.
Tuki is likely to face a tough contest in Arunachal West constituency against Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju.
Tuki was the Chief Minister of the State twice between 2011 and 2016. His first term spanned between November 2011 and January 2016, while the second term merely lasted for 3 days in the month of July 2016.
Tuki was first elected to the second legislative assembly in 1995 from Sagalee constituency and served as the deputy agriculture minister in the Gegong Apang ministry. He also served as transport and civil aviation minister in 1998. He was re-elected to the assembly in 1999 from the same constituency and became a cabinet minister with the environment and forest portfolio in the Mukut Mithi ministry.
He was re-elected in the 2004 Assembly election and 2009 Assembly elections and served as the PWD and Urban Development Minister under the Gegong Apang and Dorjee Khandu ministries.
He replaced Jarbom Gamlin as the Chief Minister of the State on November 1, 2011 and continued till January 2016. After a political crisis in 2016, the President’s Rule was imposed ending his tenure as the Chief Minister. Tuki took charge as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh on July 13 2016 and resigned on July 16 the same year.
Wanglat had served the State as Home, Finance and Civil Supplies Minister of the State under various Chief Ministers.
He was elected four times to the State Assembly.
He contested the Khonsa North seat as a PPA candidate in the 1978 election, finishing in second place. He contested the same seat again as a PPA candidate in the 1980 and won the seat. He lost the seat in the 1984 election.
In 1990 election, Wanglat won the Borduria-Bogapani seat standing as a Janata Dal candidate. He retained the seat in 1995 as a Congress candidate. In 1999, he again stood as a Congress candidate, retaining the seat. He lost the seat in the 2004.
Wanglat is likely to face former MP Tapir Gao (BJP) from the Arunachal East Parliamentary seat.
Also read: Arunachal news