Arunachal

Panchayat and Municipal Polls: Voters’ long queue mirrors Arunachal’s democratic spirit 

Voting percentage of 53 to rise: SEC

ITANAGAR (By Pradeep Kumar ):  Though overall 53 voting percentage ( Till filing of this report )  of panchayat and Municipal polls  in Arunachal Pradesh conducted on Tuesday has been received by 6 pm which would undoubtedly rise after compilation of total figures, State Election Commission (SEC) secretary Nyali Ete.

The total reports are yet to come due to communication hazard and network problems, he told media persons, adding the possibility of high percentage as recorded in the past cannot be ruled out.

The voters stood in long queue in front of many polling booths (PBs), particularly in Capital Complex, much ahead of the voting, which began at 7 am. Capital Complex DC Komkar Dulom, who along with SP Jimmy Chiram, while making rounds to various PBs to ensure the process goes smoothly was urging presiding officers, policing officers and election agents to speed up the process to avoid inordinate delay.

Though polling ended at 4 pm but long queues continued in few PBs.

Voters waiting in 2 rows in Naharlgun G-sector Govt secondary school at 5 pm, Massive rush at Naharlgun PB 53 of ward-17 at noon & Long queue at Art Culture office at 4 PM

Electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used for polls to two civic bodies while ballot papers for panchayats while COVID-10 safety protocols like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing inside the polling booths and sanitisation were followed by election officials and voters .

However, setting up of more PBs, particularly for ward-17 could have expedited the process as most of the PBs were having large voters, like 1,113 and 1,080 voters for PB 53 and 54 respectively.

More than 8,000 security personnel, including nine companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), besides 7,517 state policemen were deployed for the elections.

Vehicular movement was totally restricted in Capital Complex as vehicles were waiting in rows on both sides at most of the 11 naka set up SP Chiram. The restriction however relaxed at 6 pm.

Total 4,89,423 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise at 1,472 polling stations to elect members to 141 zilla parishad (ZP) seats and 1,702 gram panchayat (GP) segments and 23 councillors for two urban local bodies- Itanagar Municipal Corporation (IMC) and Pasighat Municipal Council (PMC), State Election Commission (SEC) deputy secretary Habung Lampung said.

Altogether 6,500 candidates in 99 ZP seats and 6,401 GPs have already won without any contest, the official said.

The ruling BJP has won five IMC corporator seats, unopposed of total 20. The voters will decide fate of 36 candidates [15 from BJP, 14 from Janata Dal (United), four from National People’s Party (NPP) and three Congress] for remaining 15 IMC wards, he said.
Seventeen candidates are in the fray for eight seats of PMC, where the BJP and the Congress are contesting in all wards and the NPP in one and elections were held for all seats.

Dibang Valley is the only district of the state where polls were not conducted as all ZP and GP segments  were won by the ruling BJP unopposed while East Siang is the only district where elections were held in all 120 polling stations.

At least 110 GP segments in the state had fallen vacant due to various reasons. The SEC will take a final call on conducting by-elections to these seats after the current electoral process is over, the official said, adding counting of votes will take place on December 26 next.

All EVMs were expected to be deposited there later for counting on Dec 26.

But, SP Chiram said that ,  first time for IMC helped in swift action to prevent any untoward for which the polling was conducted peacefully.

Impressed by the huge turnout, the governor appreciated the people for their enthusiastic participation and said that it reflected their awareness about the democratic process.He also commended the arrangements made to ensure adherence to prescribed the SOPs.

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