74% turnout in re-polling | Daring teams did well: Babu

By A O News Service

ITANAGAR, Apr 24: Re-polling in eight booths in various parts of the state was conducted smoothly, said OSD to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Toko Babu, adding receiving reports was posing challenge due to tele-communication hazard as many booths are located in far-flung areas.

The polling stations were: 1) 40-Sairo under Bameng assembly constituency of East Kameng district; 2) 13- Langte Loth under Nypain assembly constituency of Kurunq Kumey district; 3) 22-Dingser, 4) 33-Bogia Siyum, 5) 34-Jimbari and 6) 45-Lengi under Nacho assembly constituency of Upper Subansiri district; 7) 19-Bogne and 8) 22-Molom under Rumgong assembly constituency of Siang district.

The simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections conducted in these polling stations on April 19 last were declared on April 21 void due to incidents of violence and EVM damage under section 58(2) and 58A(2) of Representation of People Act, 1951 by the Election Commission of India (ECI), which had fixed  April 24 for conducting fresh elections during 6 AM to 2 PM.

Report during day time had indicated about 88% polling while the election team of Sairo polling booth after conducting elections had left Bameng by 2 PM, Babu told this daily over telephone, adding a polling team including female cops dared to cross through tough hilly terrains braving heavy rains and hanging bamboo bridge over a swollen river to discharge their duties.

All of them being very brave deserve appreciation for their dedication and commitment to complete the task given by the ECI, he said without mincing any words.

One official was heard in a video saying about various challenges on the way, like travelling by human beings is almost impossible, but they could be the first who dared to travel through this slippery hilly terrain, which failed to deter their spirit in going ahead and return after completion of voting.

It is needless to mention here that Arunachal Pradesh, the 14th largest state of India, even in this IT age poses communication hurdle for lack of roads to remote hamlets, many of which are linked by hanging bamboo bridge and risky footpath or walking trails in this Himalayan state.

Supporters of two candidates had clashed near Saito polling station of Bameng assembly constituency while incidents of EVM damage were also reported at three polling stations in East Kameng, Kurung Kumey and Upper Subansiri districts during the elections. The machines were replaced for resuming polls.

CEO Pawan Kumar Sain had given specific directions to respective district election officers for holding re-polling as per guidelines of the ECI.

However, an estimated 74% voter turnout was recorded during re-polling amid elaborate security arrangements, which is likely to go up as hundreds of voters stood in queues to exercise their franchise even after the scheduled time for voting was over, an election official said, adding  total registered voters was 4,469 in eight polling stations,

An estimated 82.71% of total 8,92,694 eligible voters had exercised their franchise on April 19 to elect 50 MLAs for the 60-member assembly as the ruling BJP had won 10 seats unopposed. The turnout in the Lok Sabha polls was recorded at 77.51%.

Counting of votes for assembly elections would be held on June 2, while that of Lok Sabha polls would be on June 4.

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