Free Press Journal

Notification of polls in Arunachal on March 15: state CEO


Itanagar: Notifications for the April 9 elections to the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly along with the Lok Sabha polls will be issued on March 15, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Chandra Bhusan Kumar said today.

Arunachal Pradesh Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma recommended dissolution of the state Assembly on March 6 after accepting the recommendation of the state cabinet.

The tenure of the Arunachal Assembly ends on November 4 this year.

“Notification for simultaneous polls will be issued on March 15 and last date for filing nominations has been fixed for March 22,” Kumar told a press conference here.

While scrutiny of papers would be done on March 24, the last date of withdrawal of candidature has been fixed on March 26, he said.

Kumar said the Election Commission announced the date of Assembly elections last night and appointed Santosh Kumar as Excise Observer to check use of liquor by political parties to woo voters during the elections.

“The ECI has already appointed K S Dhatwalia and D M Kakadia as awareness observer for Western and Eastern parliamentary constituencies respectively and they are touring all Assembly constituencies to create awareness among the voters.

“Altogether 7,53,170 electorates including 3,77,272 women would exercise their franchise in 2,158 polling stations in the state. 664 polling stations in the state are inaccessible, while eight polling stations have less than ten voters, 20 have less than 20 voters and 105 polling stations have less than 50 electors,” the CEO said.

The C Sector polling station in Itanagar has the highest number of 1,650 voters, while Malogaon polling station under Hayuliang in Anjaw district has only two voters, he said.

Web-casting of polling process would be made available in 100 polling stations, while 1,500 video and digital cameras would be used during the elections, Kumar said.

Two electronic voting machines (EVMs) would be used in each polling station for the Assembly and parliamentary polls separately, while one standby EVM would be kept in those booths where there is no road connectivity.

“The provision for NOTA (none of the above) will be available in all EVMs,” he said, adding the commission has chalked out multi-pronged strategies to check malpractices.

The CEO said more than 15,000 government employees were being deployed to conduct the elections besides, 13 senior officers have been appointed as nodal officers.

“Central paramilitary forces will be deployed throughout the state for creating conducive environment in addition to the state’s security forces,” he said.

Kumar said adequate number of general observers, police observers and expenditure observers were being deployed in the state who would be coming from outside the state and would remain in the districts till declaration of the result.     On movement of poll personnel and materials to inaccessible polling stations, he stated it would be done in advance and enough air sorties have been requisitioned for the purpose.