AAPSU demands postponement of local bodies’ elections

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Nov 17: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has questioned the State Election Commission’s (SEC) intention after its “hasty announcement” of the panchayat and municipality elections, and demanded postponement of the local bodies’ elections.

Urging the SEC to reconsider its decision, the AAPSU served a two-day ultimatum and demanded a response, stating that failing to respond would invite a serious democratic movement for what its termed “restoring the indigenous rights.”

AAPSU president Hawa Bagang said, “The health department also issued an advisory, considering the surge in Covid-19 cases and the state’s health infrastructure, that holding local bodies’ elections may worsen the situation.

“Why did the commission hastily announce the election?” he asked.

The AAPSU president also claimed that the commission was going ahead with the elections without completing the electoral procedures.

“(There is) superimposition of electoral roll from the last vidhan sabha electoral roll, depriving the existing voters’ list of the municipal and panchayat electoral roll of 2013,” Bagang stated.

He further claimed that no public notice or circular was issued regarding the existing electoral roll prior to the announcement of the local bodies’ elections. “No hearing on addition and deletion of voters’ list was conducted and the final electoral roll was published only on 11 November,” Bagang said.

The union further said that no opportunity was given to the public for claims and objections and correction of the voters’ list.

Stating that the panchayat election is conducted on the basis of the Daying Ering Recommendation, 1965, the union said “there was gross mistake by including temporary settlers of Arunachal in panchayat election in Vijoynagar given the right as indigenous tribes.”

The AAPSU urged the commission to ensure early correction. It stated that the non-indigenous settlers of Vijoynagar were settled “with the specific condition of territorial integration of India in 1960s and their land lease agreement of the Vijoynagar area settlers ended in 2020 and there is no question of extending the settlers the rights of participation of panchayat election.”