An alleged mischief has made the Congress replace one of its four women candidates in Arunachal Pradesh with a male leader. This has not gone down well with many in the party, which lost two “bankable” women leaders who were denied tickets.
The Congress had on Saturday announced the names of candidates for 53 of the State’s 60 Assembly seats, elections for which are scheduled for April 11. The list had the name of Marina Kenglang for the Changlang North seat apart from Dayum Para (Tali), Yaman Bagra (Along West), and Komoli Mossang (Nampong).
But on Monday, the last day of filing of nomination, someone else submitted the papers for the Changlang North seat.
“Only two candidates filed nomination for the Changlang North seat today. They are Tesam Pongte of BJP and Thinghaap Taiju of Congress,” Changlang district’s Deputy Commissioner R.K. Sharma said.
Ms. Kenglang accused State Congress president Takam Sanjoy of manipulation after failing to stop the All India Congress Committee from nominating her for the Changlang North seat.
“Since I live very far away, I sent Mahila Congress representatives to Takam Sanjoy to collect forms A and B (required to be submitted by political parties for sponsoring nominated candidates). He refused and instead gave the forms to Mr. Taiju, a former MLA who lost the last election,” Ms. Kenglang told The Hindu.
She said she had urged Congress president Rahul Gandhi to take action against Mr. Takam for disrespecting the AICC list of candidates and undermining the party’s policy of providing adequate space to women. Mr. Takam, however, said he went by the list he had and the inclusion of Ms. Kenglang’s name could be a case of “clerical error”.
“I joined the Congress in 1999 and have been a zila parishad member twice. I fulfilled the criteria to become a candidate but was denied ticket. An individual has kept me out, not the party. I will remain with the Congress because I believe in its ideology,” Ms. Kenglang said.
Two other women leaders, however, quit the Congress after being denied tickets. While former Women’s Commission chairperson Jarjum Ete joined the Janata Dal (Secular) to contest from Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat, Toko Yaram left the party after failing to get the ticket for Yachuli Assembly constituency.