66% turnout in Arunachal, stray violence reported on Thursday

An estimated 66 per cent voters on Thursday exercised their franchise in elections to the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly and the state’s two Lok Sabha seats.

Polling was peaceful, save stray incidents of violence. Three persons were seriously injured when supporters of two rival parties clashed outside a polling booth in Pipsorang in the Tali Assembly constituency in Kurung Kumey district, an election official said.

Police officials said the injured were taken to hospital by a helicopter.

Polling official Tenak Socia died of a stroke at Laju polling booth of Khonsa West assembly in Tirap district, officials said.

“The voting percentage recorded so far is 66 per cent. We are expecting that the voting percentage may touch 70 pe rcent as we are yet to received the final figures from all the districts,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer Kangki Darang said.

“There are many polling stations where it take one or two days to reach the district headquarters while some of the polling officials have to be airlifted since they are deployed in inaccessible areas,” he said.

Darang also said that polling was not conducted in around 15 polling stations due defective EVMS which couldn’t be replaced in time besides other reasons.

There are 7,98,249 voters in the state and 2,202 polling stations.

Arunachal Pradesh is undergoing simultaneous polls.

For the two Lok Sabha seats, 12 candidates are in the fray, and for 57 of the 60 Assembly seats, 181 are in the race. Three BJP candidates — Phurpa Tsering from Dirang, Taba Tedir from Yachuli and Kento Jini from Along East — won elections unopposed after either other contestants withdrew or their candidature was rejected.

The ruling BJP contestes all 60 seats and the Congress 46. The National People’s Party has fielded 30 candidates, the Janata Dal-United 15 and the Janata Dal-Secular 12.

In the Lok Sabha polls, Union Minister Kiren Rijju, seeking re-election for the third time from Arunachal West, faced former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki of the Congress, National People Party’s Khyoda Apik and Jarjum Ete of the JD-S.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu cast his vote at the Lemberdung polling booth in Tawang district, bordering China.

(IANS)

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