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Lone voter casts vote in remote Arunachal district

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ITANAGAR, April 19: The unique Malogam polling station in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh recorded cent per cent polling with the lone female voter, exercising her constitutional right on Friday, officials said.

The 44-year-old Sokela Tayang cast her vote around 1 pm, a district official said.

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For the single voter, a team of polling officials trekked nearly 40 km on foot through treacherous terrain and set up a voting booth in the remote polling station.

“I am delighted to exercise my franchise and thanked the election authorities for giving me the opportunity to cast my vote,” Sokela said.

According to the election official, very few families reside in Malogam, and all the others except for Tayang are registered voters in other polling booths. But she was not willing to go to other booths to cast her vote.

“It is not always about numbers but it is to ensure that every citizen gets his or her voice heard. Sokela Tayang’s vote is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and equality,” said Chief Electoral Officer Pawan Kumar Sain.

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The village falls under the Hayuliang assembly constituency in Anjaw district bordering China and in the Arunachal East Lok Sabha seat where as many as six candidates are vying for their electoral luck.

The main contest, however, is between Bosiram Siram of the Congress party and sitting MP Tapir Gao of the BJP. Dasanglu Pul, the BJP MLA from the Hayuliang assembly constituency retained the seat this time by winning it unopposed.

In the last elections in 2019, Gao won the seat — one of the two constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh –garnering over 1.5 lakh votes. He defeated Lowangcha Wanglat of the Congress party who got 83,935 votes.

In the 2014 elections, the polling booth at Malogam had two voters. The other was Tayang’s estranged husband Janelum Tayang, who, however, transferred his name to another booth in the constituency.

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Tayang doesn’t live in the village and her connection to Malogam is tenuous as her daughter and son study in colleges elsewhere.Of the total 2,226 polling stations in the state, 228 can be reached only by foot.

Of these, 61 will require a two-day walk, while seven others would need three-day trekking.Counting of votes for assembly polls would be held on June 2, while votes polled for Lok Sabha would be counted on June 4. PTI

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