ITANAGAR, May 16 � Overcoming its worst-ever showing in General Elections in the country, Congress in Arunachal Pradesh managed to retain power and is making its way towards gaining absolute majority in the 60-member State Assembly.
Till filing of this report, the ruling party has won 38 seats, including 11 without any contest, and was leading in five constituencies.
On the other hand, opposition BJP has improved on its last election results by getting five seats so far and was leading in three constituencies. In 2009 Assembly polls, BJP had won three seats.
People�s Party of Arunachal (PPA), the lone regional party of the State, has so far bagged three seats and was ahead of its rivals in two other seats.
Prominent winners from Congress party include Chief Minister Nabam Tuki from Sagalee (uncontested), former Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin (Liromoba), former Deputy Chief Minister Kameng Dolo from Pakke-Kessang (uncontested), Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong (Borduria-Bogapani), Deputy Speaker Jomde Kena (Likabali), sitting Ministers Kumar Waii (Bameng), Tapang Taloh (Pangin), Kamlung Mossang (Miao) and Newlai Tingkhatra (Kanubari).
Unfortunately, Tingkhatra passed away on May 7 after he had suffered a massive stroke at his hometown Kanubari on April 24 last. Following this, the Kanubari seat will lie vacant and a bye-election is likely to be announced by the Election Commission of India.
Those who won uncontested from the Congress included sitting Ministers Tanga Byaling (Nacho) and Pema Khandu (Mukto), Parliamentary Secretary Nabam Rebia (Doimukh), former Minister Lombo Tayeng (Mebo), sitting MLAs Phurpa Tsering (Dirang), Punji Mara (Taliha), Bamang Felix (Nyapin) and Takam Pario (Palin), and first-timer Mama Natung (Seppa West).
From the BJP side emerged the �giant killer� in first-timer Laisam Simai defeating the sitting Minister Setong Sena from Nampong seat in Changlang district by a margin of 203 votes.
Kento Rina, another first-timer from BJP, defeated veteran Congress leader and sitting member from Nari-Koyu, Tako Dabii by a margin of 389 votes.
Other winners from the saffron party include: former Minister Japu Deru (Bomdila), technocrat-turned-politician Tage Taki from Ziro-Hapoli constituency and new-comer Olom Panyang (Mariyang-Geku).