Panchayat, municipal polls record 52.89% voter turnout


Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 22 Dec: Around 53 percent voter turnout was recorded in the local body elections held in the state on Tuesday.

“Altogether 52.89 percent electorate exercised their franchise in the polling held for the panchayats and two municipal bodies till 4 pm,” State Election Commission (SEC) Secretary Nyali Ete told reporters here this evening.

He, however, said the voting percentage would increase as the commission is still getting figures from the interior districts.

Stating that polling was by and large peaceful, Ete said no untoward incident was reported from any district, except Kamle.

Briefing about the Kamle incident, he said, “Voting at the Yorkum polling station in the district had to be suspended following an argument regarding alleged double voting, which resulted in damage to ballot papers. The DEO called for re-polling and the SEC has scheduled the re-polling for 24 December.”

Earlier, the polling started at 7 am amid tight security. Voting was held for 141 out of 242 zilla parishad constituencies and 1,702 out of 8,215 gram panchayat seats, and 23 wards (out of 28), including 15 under the Itanagar Municipal Corporation and eight under the Pasighat Municipal Council.

Altogether 6,500 candidates, including 99 for zilla parishads and 6,401 for gram panchayat seats, were declared elected unopposed. Under the Itanagar Municipal Corporation, five corporators were declared elected uncontested.

A total of 4,89,423 voters were eligible to cast their votes at 1,472 polling stations across the state. Altogether 13,481 polling personnel were deployed during the elections.

As per the SEC, “elections to 110 GP seats will not be held due to single nomination rejection or there was no candidate, and the commission will take a final call after the electoral process of the current phase is over.”

The SEC has issued notification for election to the Hawai North ZP seat in Anjaw district, and polling will be held there on 11 January next year.

In Papum Pare district, the panchayat election went off peacefully. Voters turned out in large numbers to cast their ballots for 14 zilla parishad members and 153 gram panchayat members. The Yupia ADC informed that there will be four counting centres – Yupia, Sagalee, Balijan and Kimin – and all polling materials are reported to be stored in the strong room of the respective counting centres.

Fifty-five percent of voters in the Itanagar capital region (ICR) exercised their adult franchise across 47 polling stations for the election to the IMC.

The election to the IMC was announced for 20 wards, out of which corporators of five wards (12, 14, 18, 19 and 20) have already been elected unopposed.

Deputy Commissioner Komkar Dulom informed that magistrates, sector magistrates, flying squads and the police were on their toes since early morning to ensure that the voting process was conducted smoothly.

The municipal returning officers and assistant municipal returning officers were also on the run to take stock of the situation from time to time and to tend to any issue with regard to casting of vote.

Election observer Ranphoa Ngowa, the DC, and ICR SP Jimmy Chiram also visited all the polling stations and monitored the election process.

In East Siang, the simultaneous panchayat and municipal elections passed off peacefully. Safety protocols like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing inside the polling booths and sanitization were followed.

Although the complete polling figures for Bogong-I, Bogong-II, Bosing-I and Bosing-II zilla parishad constituencies were not available till the filing of this report, official sources informed that 62.34 percent electorate exercised their franchise until 4 pm. The total number of voters was 32,699.

For the Pasighat Municipal Council, 17 candidates are in the fray for eight seats and the total eligible voters were 10,778. According to an official source, 48.8 percent electorate exercised their franchise till the filing of this report.

In Changlang district, election to the Vijaynagar ZP constituency seat along with 40 GPM seats has been kept in abeyance by the commission due to various reasons.

In Tawang, voting took place at 17 polling stations under the Zemithang Dudungkhar zilla parishad constituency, 20 polling stations under the Lumla zilla parishad constituency and the only gram panchayat constituency of Gormang Nodo.

Out of six zilla parishad constituencies in Tawang district, four have already been won uncontested, and out of 311 gram panchayat seats, 309 have been won uncontested. One gram panchayat seat was rejected during scrutiny.

Among senior citizens, 93-year-old Du Pema from Mangnam village cast her vote at the government upper primary school polling station in Mangnam.

All the polling teams have reported back to the strong room in Lumla headquarters for depositing the poll items. (With inputs from DIPROs)