ITANAGAR, June 19 � The Congress in Arunachal Pradesh retained the lone Rajya Sabha seat with incumbent Mukut Mithi�s election to the Upper House of Parliament, the polling for which was held at the State Assembly Secretariat on Thursday. Mithi defeated his rival from opposition BJP Tapen Siga by 37 votes.
Mithi obtained 47 votes as against Siga�s 10 and two votes were found invalid, informed Assistant Returning Officer K Habung, who is also the additional secretary of the Assembly Secretariat.
In the 60-member House, the Congress has 42 members, BJP 11, PPA five and Independents two. However, one seat (Kanubari) fell vacant following the death of Congress MLA Newlai Tingkhatra.
All but one member participated in the democratic exercise, Habung said.
The 62-year-old Mithi, who is also the president of Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee, had earlier entered the Upper House on June 4, 2008 and his term of office expired on May 26 this year.
Besides being a former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh (1999-2003), Mithi was also the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry from July 19, 2006 to March 12, 2008 when he resigned to stand in the Rajya Sabha election then.
Born on January 1, 1952 at Roing of Lower Dibang Valley district, Mithi completed his BSc from JN College Pasighat. He was first elected to the State Assembly in 1983 and became a Cabinet Minister during 1985 to 1998 before taking over as the Chief Minister from January 19, 1999 to August 3, 2003.