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Stage set for simultaneous polls in Arunachal Pradesh

 ITANAGAR, March 11 - The stage is set for Arunachal Pradesh to hold Lok Sabha and Assembly polls simultaneously on April 11, Election officials said Monday.

With the model code of conduct coming into force, the Election authorities have issued do’s and donts to all political parties and urged all government machinery to strictly follow it.

Prevention of Defacement of Public Property Act would be mandatorily imposed by all deputy commissioners, Election office sources said.

A total of 7,94,162 voters, including 4,01,601 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the April 11 simultaneous polls in 2,202 polling stations across the State.

Polling Station no 52 at Naharalagun, under Itanagar Assembly constituency, has the highest number of voters at 1,340, while Malogam polling station under Hayuliang constituency in remote Anjaw district bordering China has only one female voter.

Luguthang polling booth under Mukto constituency in Tawang district is the highest polling station located at an altitude of about 13,583 feet.

Eleven polling stations exclusively for female voters have also been set up in the State, the sources said.

As per records, photo electoral roll coverage is 99.97 per cent while voter’s photo identity card has also been issued to 99.97 per cent in the State.

They said that all arrangements to conduct elections have already been completed in the State.

Training of all district election officers, returning officers, assistant returning officers and various categories of nodal officers were completed by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) office here.

For the first time, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be used along with electronic voting machines in all the polling stations.

For 4,964 service voters, electronically transmitted postal ballots (ETPBS) system would be used for the first time to facilitate hassle free voting.

For poll day monitoring, SMS-based poll monitor system would be used and vehicles carrying reserve EVMs will be fitted with GPS in all cellular network covered areas.

The poll notification would be issued on March 18 while the last date of filing nominations has been fixed on March 25.

Scrutiny of papers would be made on March 26 while the last date of withdrawal of nominations has been fixed on March 28. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.

The ruling BJP has 48 MLAs in the House of 60, while opposition Congress has four and National Peoples Party (NPP) five MLAs. There are two independent MLAs in the Assembly now.

The ensuing Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Arunachal would witness a keen contest between the BJP, Congress, NPP, PPA and Janata Dal (Secular).

While the ruling BJP would contest the elections on developmental plank, the opposition parties are expected to use the Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) as their trump card, besides law and order and corruption issues.

During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in the State, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju won from Arunachal West Parliamentary constituency while Ninong Ering of Congress won the Arunachal East seat.

In the Assembly elections of 2014, the Congress had won 42 seats while the BJP succeeded in 11. The Peoples Party of Arunachal (PPA) won five seats while two went to Independents. – PTI

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