Cong gains in Arunachal,loses ‘lottery’ in Assamhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/cong-gains-in-arunachal-loses-lottery-in-assam/

Cong gains in Arunachal,loses ‘lottery’ in Assam

The Congress’s tally in Assam may have gone down from nine to seven and ‘lottery king’ Mani Kumar Subba may have got a drubbing in Tezpur...

The Congress’s tally in Assam may have gone down from nine to seven and ‘lottery king’ Mani Kumar Subba may have got a drubbing in Tezpur,but the party has managed to notch up the number of seats held by it from 11 to 13 in other Northeastern states.

The party has wrested both the seats in Arunachal Pradesh from the BJP,with senior party leader Takam Sanjay defeating BJP MP Kiren Rijiju in Arunachal (West) and Nilong Ering sailing past sitting MP Tapir Gao in Arunachal (East). Rijiju,incidentally,was one of the most prominent young MPs from Assam in the 14th Lok Sabha.

In Manipur,the Congress added two to its tally with Thangso Baite winning Manipur (Outer) and Thokchom Meyna retaining the Manipur (Inner) seat.

The lone Mizoram seat,too,went to the Congress,with CL Ruala defeating his Independent rival Lallungmuana,who was backed by the Mizo People’s Conference (MPC) and Mizo National Front (MNF),by a margin of over 99,000 votes.

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The single Nagaland seat,however,was retained by the Nagaland People’s Front (NPF),an ally of the BJP. C M Chang of NPF defeated K Asungba Sangtam (Congress) by a margin of over 4.38 lakh votes.

The Left remained undisturbed in Tripura,with the CPI(M) retaining both seats — Khagen Das won Tripura (West) and Bajuban Riyan Tripura (East).

Meghalaya saw Vincent H Pala of the Congress winning the Shillong seat,while Agatha Sangma — daughter of NCP leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Sangma — retained the Tura seat.

In Assam,meanwhile,the Congress did not put up a good show,with its controversial Congress MP and lottery king Mani Kumar Subba being defeated by a margin of 30,519 votes by senior Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader and three-time MLA Joseph Toppo.

“I definitely feel great defeating Subba. But the credit goes to the people of Tezpur,who have finally realised that they were electing a wrong candidate whose very citizenship status is under a cloud,” Toppo said from Tezpur. Subba was not available for comment.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi,who had earlier said that Subba was renominated by the Congress party for his “winnability” factor,today said that the party would examine why the leader was defeated. “I think one does develop some anti-incumbency if one remains an MP for three terms at a stretch,” Gogoi said.

Subba has remained in the news since his entry into the Lok Sabha in 1998 for his allegedly doubtful citizenship status. A case is still pending against him in the Supreme Court and the CBI had recently reported to the SC that it found prima-facie evidence of the commission of a number of cognisable offences by Subba.

The businessman has been entangled in a controversy over his citizenship status,with allegations that he is not only a Nepali citizen who was convicted in a murder case,but had also managed to escape from jail in that country.

Chief Minister Gogoi,however,had recently said that Subba was “definitely an Indian citizen”. During the run-up to the elections last month,Gogoi had said,“The CBI might have filed some charges,but they have not been proved in the court of law. While the matter is subjudice,there is no bar in nominating him for the elections.”