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Arunachal Pradesh: Over 66 per cent turnout in LS polls, 68 per cent for Assembly polls amid rain disruption

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Itanagar, April 19:  Amid reports of violence from a few districts, Arunachal Pradesh recorded 66.36 per cent of its 8.92 voters casting their votes in the election to the state’s two Lok Sabha seats and over 68.43 per cent in the simultaneous Assembly polls on Friday, officials said.

A senior police official said that supporters of two candidates clashed at the Bameng constituency in East Kameng district, while mobs damaged EVMs in several polling stations in East Kameng, Kurung Kumey, and Upper Subansiri districts, delaying the voting.

Voting resumed in the polling stations of three districts after the replacement of the machines and the security forces’ intervention in the situation.

Casting of votes was also delayed in at least 10 polling stations due to malfunctioning EVMs.

The turnout was very low in the morning hours in different districts due to light to moderate rains but picked up pace later in the day.

Polling for the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections started at 7 a.m. on Friday amid heavy security across the state, and ended at 5 a.m.

An election official said that due to rain, no voting took place till 9 a.m. in more than 15 polling stations in different districts.

After casting his vote at a polling station in Itanagar, Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that he is confident that his BJP would form government in the state for the third consecutive term and urged voters to exercise their franchise in large numbers.

The elections for two Lok Sabha constituencies and 50 Assembly seats were held across 2,226 polling stations, with 133 candidates contesting for 50 of the total 60 Assembly seats and 14 candidates for the two Lok Sabha seats.

BJP candidates in 10 Assembly seats including CM Khandu (Mukto) and Deputy CM Chowna Mein (Chowkham), have been elected unopposed.

The ruling BJP has fielded candidates in all the Assembly seats while the opposition Congress put up 19 nominees. The National People’s Party is contesting 20 seats, the NCP 14 and the People’s Party of Arunachal had 11 candidates in the fray.

In the Arunachal West parliamentary seat, eight candidates were in the fray including Union Minister Kiren Rijiju and state Congress President and former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki. Sitting BJP member Tapir Gao and state Congress Vice President and former minister Bosiram Siram are among six candidates contesting the Arunachal East seat.

Elaborate security arrangements had been made to hold peaceful polling in the state, with 70 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (6,500 personnel), and thousands of state security forces deployed.

The counting of votes for the Assembly elections will be taken up on June 2, while the results of the Lok Sabha elections will be announced on June 4.

IANS

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