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Congress candidates opted out of electoral race due to BJP’s popularity: CM Pema Khandu

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ITANAGAR, April 3: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday said several Congress candidates left the electoral race because of BJP’s popularity among people.

Khandu emphasised that the people of the state have witnessed the development trajectory initiated by the BJP and asserted that only the saffron party could lead the state towards further growth.

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“People of the state have discarded Congress from their hearts because of misrule and mismanagement. BJP never believed in money politics and had never allured any Congress candidate to surrender in the elections. It is because they have realised that only the BJP can bring development in the state,” Khandu said while dismissing Congress leader Nabam Tuki’s allegations.

Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Nabam Tuki had on Tuesday accused the ruling BJP in the state of luring their candidates with money to secure victory in the assembly elections.

Tuki claimed that many party candidates withdrew their nomination papers after being offered substantial sums by the ruling party.

“Many Congress candidates did not file nominations and those who filed later withdrew their papers because of the development-oriented performance of the BJP government which was never witnessed during Congress rule in the state. We never believe in money politics and our main mantra is development,” the chief minister said.

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Khandu, who won uncontested from Mukto along with nine other party candidates this time, accused the Congress of playing politics on religious lines.

“The Congress is trying to garner support of the Christian community in the state through a prominent forum in the state which is bad for a democratic setup. It is the dirtiest politics being played by the opposition,” he said.

Khandu’s accusation came after the Arunachal Christian Forum, a prominent body in the state, had announced its support for non-BJP candidates in the state.

“I believe that the Christian community will never surrender to the dirty politics of the Congress and people of the state will never forgive the opposition party in the days to come,” he said.

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The chief minister said that except for the BJP, no other party in the state fielded candidates in all the 60 assembly seats.

“How one can claim to form the next government when they have not put even 30 candidates. It is only BJP who will win with a thumping majority and form the next government in the state as well as at the Centre,” Khandu claimed.

The Congress has fielded 19 candidates for the assembly polls followed by National People’s Party (NPP) in 20 seats, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in 14, regional outfit People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) in 11 seats, Arunachal Democratic Party in four, Lok Jana Shakti Party (LJSP) in one seat respectively. (PTI)

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