By Manoj Singh
The legislators of Arunachal Pradesh Assembly today cast their votes to elect the next president of the country.
Of the total 59 members in a house of 60, 58 exercised their franchise. Health and Family Welfare minister Jomde Kena did not cast his vote here as he was in Delhi. Assembly secretary M Lasa said, Kena voted in Delhi.
One seat in the Assembly was vacant after former deputy chief minister and sitting MLA Kameng Dolo from Pakke-Kessang constituency lost membership of the House following a Supreme Court ruling in connection with an election petition filed against him by BJP leader and former minister Atum Welly.
The ruling BJP in the state has 47 MLAs while the Peoples Party of Arunachal (PPA), a constituent member of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), has 9 members who are supporting the NDA presidential candidate.
There are two independents and a lone Congress member in the House. The two independents are also supporting the NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind.
Kovind is pitted against opposition candidate Meira Kumar in the race to the country’s top constitutional post.
The voting was held at the main conference Room of the newly constructed Assembly Secretariat at Itanagar while first voter was senior most lawmaker from Choukham, Namsai district Chowna Mein which started at 10 AM and completed at around 2 PM in afternoon.
Election Observer Gibesh Nanda (Joint Secretary, MHA) said that election process was smooth and lawmakers here were standing in queue since early and cast their vote, a special pen was provided by which they cast their vote and not other items was allowed to carry in the polling booth.
APLA Secretary is the Asstiant Returning Officer while Chief Election Officer of the state was coordinating the process and Election Commission of India (ECI) look these two people for smooth conduct of election peacefully in fair manner which has been done Nanda said.