Itanagar, December 25: Bhartiya Janata Party won the Pakke-Kessang and the Likabali Assembly seats that had gone to by-polls under the Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s leadership. BR Waghe of the BJP won the Pakke-Kessang seat by a margin of 475 votes, defeating his lone rival and former Deputy Chief Minister Kameng Dolo of the Congress.
While Waghe polled 3,517 votes, Dolo bagged 3,042, Joint Chief Electoral Officer DJ Bhattacharjee said. In the Likabali seat, the BJP’s Kardo Nyigyor won by 305 votes, defeating his nearest rival Gumke Riba of the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA). With this win, the 60-member state Assembly now has 49 BJP MLAs – nine from the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA), one Congress, and one Independent legislator each.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pema Khandu termed the victory a perfect Christmas gift to the party, the state government and the Centre as well. Congratulating the people of both the constituencies for reposing faith in the BJP by giving the mandate to its candidates, Pema assured to reciprocate the gesture in the truest sense. He also congratulated Waghe and Nyigyor, and expressed confidence that they would live up to the expectations of their respective electorates and become inalienable assets for the party.
Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju, congratulated the BJP members for the victory in the by-polls.
While the BJP candidate polled 3,461 votes, the PPA nominee secured 3,156 votes in the constituency, which witnessed a multi-cornered contest.
Congress candidate Modam Dini could secure only 362 votes while Independent candidate Sengo Taipodia bagged 375 votes. The constituency also saw 23 voters opting for NOTA, Bhattacharjee said. Over 68.5% electors had cast their votes in the by-polls, with Pakke-Kessang recording an 86% voter turnout and Likabali 51%.