ITANAGAR: Thirty of the 181 candidates contesting the 57 remaining Legislative Assembly seats in Arunachal Pradesh have pending criminal cases against them, with the Congress leading the charge followed closely by the National People’s Party (NPP), and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In the 60-seat Assembly, the ruling BJP has already secured three seats unopposed.

A comparative analysis of the affidavits revealed that the Congress leads the dubious list of candidates with pending cases against them- nine in total. The primary opposition party is followed closely by the BJP’s intermittent ally, NPP, which has eight candidates with pending cases against them. The BJP has fielded seven candidates with pending criminal cases.

The Janata Dal (United) has two such candidates and two Independents also have pending cases to their names. The People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) and the Janata Dal (Secular) have one each.

A breakdown of the actual number of pending cases revealed that the Congress tops the list here too, with 24 pending criminal cases among the nine candidates and its Itanagar constituency candidate, Yumlam Achung, with the most number of pending cases- seven -among all candidates across party lines. His BJP rival, Kipa Babu, has one for assault, trespassing, and criminal intimation. Overall, Achung is followed by the independent candidate for the Tezu constituency, Karikho Kri, who has five pending cases to his name.

The NPP’s eight candidates share 15 pending criminal cases among them, while seven of the ruling BJP’s candidates have 12 pending criminal cases between them.

Six cases are pending amongst the two independent candidates, including Kri’s five and Bordumsa-Diyun candidate Arjun Tanti’s one.

The two JD(U) candidates have three pending cases between them. The lone JD(S) candidate with a pending criminal case, former chief minister Gegong Apang, has two. The PPA has one.

The Congress’ candidate for Tezu constituency, Nuney Tayang, who has four cases pending, is the only candidate to have been convicted in 2001 under Sections 448 and 323 of the IPC under charges of trespassing and causing hurt. His punishment was a Rs 500 fine.

The BJP’s Pangin constituency candidate, Ojing Tasing, was also convicted under IPC Section 333 under a charge of ‘voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty’ in 2007 but was later acquitted by the Itanagar Bench of the Gauhati High Court in 2008.

Amongst the incumbent list of contesting MLAs, the NPP has four candidates with pending cases- Tapuk Taku (one), Pani Taram (three), Paknga Bage (one), and Nikh Kamin (four).

The Congress’ two incumbent MLAs with pending cases are former chief minister Nabam Tuki (one filed by the CBI anti-corruption bureau), and Takam Pario (two filed by the Special Investigation Cell).

The BJP’s Thrizino-Buragaon candidate, Kumsi Sidisow has one case filed under wrongful restraint, voluntary causing hurt, and common intention.

A number of pending cases against the 30 candidates are of white-collar nature. Nine of the candidates have pending cases filed against them by the SIC (Vigilance). Other allegations of offences range from attempt to murder, links with an armed group, dacoity. The oldest cases date as far back as 2001.

Amongst the MP candidates, Congress’ Nabam Tuki, who is also contesting the Arunachal West seat, is the only one with a pending case against him. The NPP’s Khyoda Apik stated in his affidavit that a SIC (Vigilance) case was filed against him for misuse of government fund by the PWD but that the case was discharged by a sessions court.