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Campaigning for LS, assembly polls in Arunachal Pradesh ends

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ITANAGAR, April 17: Campaigning for the April 19 simultaneous polls in Arunachal Pradesh came to end on Wednesday evening, setting the stage to elect two Lok Sabha MPs and 50 lawmakers for the state assembly.

While defence minister Rajnath Singh addressed a public rally at Namsai to seek votes for Arunachal East Lok Sabha candidate Tapir Gao, party’s president JP Nadda addressed a rally at Doimukh near here, seeking support from people for the western parliamentary constituency’s candidate Kiren Rijiju.

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Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his cabinet colleague Ashok Singhal had addressed several meetings in the state for BJP.

Though the opposition Congress had announced names of several star campaigners, nobody turned up for campaigning.

NPP president and Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma addressed two election rallies at Longding and Basar.

This time, the parties also campaigned through social media platforms and door-to-door visits.

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The ruling BJP in the northeastern state has already opened its account by securing 10 seats in the 60-member assembly, unopposed.

The prominent figures who won without a contest are chief minister Pema Khandu from Mukto seat, deputy chief minister Chowna Mein from Chowkham, Techi Kaso (Itanagar), Jikke Tako (Tali), Nyato Dukam (Taliha), Mutchu Mithi (Roing) and Dasanglu Pul from Hayuliang assembly seat.

Three newcomers who won unopposed are Dongru Siongju from Bomdila seat, Ratu Techi (Sagalee) and Hage Appa from Ziro-Hapoli constituency.

The BJP had fielded 60 candidates in all the assembly seats while opposition Congress put 19 nominees, National People’s Party (NPP) contested 20 seats, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in 14, People’s Party of Arunachal in 11, Arunachal Democratic Party (ADP) in four seats and Lok Jana Shakti Party in one seat. There are also 14 independent candidates in the fray.

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In Arunachal West Parliamentary seat, eight candidates are in the fray including Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju and Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Nabam Tuki.

Altogether six candidates are vying for the Arunachal East Parliamentary seat including sitting MP Tapir Gao and APCC vice-president Bosiram Siram.

BJP won both the Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 elections. In the assembly, the BJP bagged 41 seats, JD (U) won seven, NPP five, the Congress secured four seats, the PPA won one seat and two Independent candidates also emerged victorious.

An estimated 8,92,694 voters including 4,54,256 women will decide the fate of 133 candidates contesting in the assembly polls and 14 in the two Lok Sabha seats.

A total of 11,130 polling officials have been deployed while 6,874 EVMs will be used in 2,226 polling booths. Polling is scheduled to be held from 7am to 5pm.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made to conduct peaceful polling with the deployment of 80 companies of central armed police forces (CAPF) including, IRBn and state police forces to manage law and order, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Pawan Kumar Sain informed.

Counting of votes for assembly elections will be held on June 2, while that of Lok Sabha polls would be done on June 4. (PTI)

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