66 per cent voter turnout in Arunachal Pradesh

Itanagar: An estimated 66 per cent of the voters in Arunachal Pradesh exercised their franchise on Thursday to elect members of the state Assembly and the two Lok Sabha MPs, an election official said.

Arunachal Pradesh has a total of 7,94,162 voters, including 4,01,601 women. Elections to the state Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats were held simultaneously.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer Kangki Darang said that according to reports available from the respective district election officers (DEOs) roughly 66 per cent voting was recorded in the state till 5 pm.

“Reports from several remote polling booths are yet to be received by this office and even in some polling stations polling is continuing, so the polling percentage will increase,” Darang said.

He said that barring a few sporadic incidents of violence and damage of EVM, the polling was by and large peaceful in the state.

Three persons were seriously injured at Pipsorang circle under Tali assembly constituency in Kurung Kumey district after clash took place between supporters of two rival political parties, DGP S B K Singh said.

The injured have been immediately evacuated to Itanagar by a chopper requisitioned by the district administration, the DGP added.

Darang said that as per available reports, polling in 133 booths could not be conducted due to various reasons like damage of EVMs and malfunctioning of voting machines where re-polling would be held.

“Re-polling will be done only after recommendations of the respective district election officers which will be forwarded to the Election Commission and accordingly the Commission will decide,” Darang disclosed.

The additional CEO informed that so far total unaccounted cash seized by the police and Election Commission appointed Static Surveillance Teams and the Flying Squads in the state amounted to over six crore.

A polling official died while performing duty in Tirap district, he said.

Tenak Socia polling officer at Upper Primary School polling station under Khonsa West Assembly seat died due to cardiac arrest while performing duty, the additional chief electoral officer told reporters here.

Socia was a work inspector in the Water Resources department.

Terming the incident as unfortunate, Darang said that as per the laid down rules, the Commission would pay minimum ex-gratia of Rs 15 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased

“Liquor worth 1.97 crore were also seized and destroyed in the state,” he added.

A total of 45 companies of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) comprising ITBP, CRPF, IRBn and SSB along with over seven thousand state civil police personnel have been deployed.

There are 2,202 polling stations spread across the state out of which, 281 were identified as vulnerable and 662 as critical polling stations.

This time, there were also 11 polling stations exclusively for women.

The ruling BJP had already opened its account in the assembly polls by winning three seats unopposed.

The winners are Kento Jini from Along East constituency in West Siang district, Taba Tedir from Yachuli seat in Lower Subansiri district and Phurpa Tsering from Dirang seat in West Kameng district.

The BJP has fielded candidates in all the remaining 57 assembly seats while Congress is contesting in 46 seats, the NPP in 30 seats, JD(U) in 15 constituencies, JD(S) in 12 and PPA nine.