From our correspondent
Itagar, Dec 19: The heat and dust of electioneering for bypoll to two Assembly constituencies in Aruchal Pradesh came to an end on Tuesday. The bye-election to Pakke-Kessang constituency in East Kameng district and Likabali constituency in West Siang district would be held on December 21next.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer D J Bhattacharjee stated that Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system would be used for the first time along with EVMs. He said all the preparations for successful polling has been completed and polling parties would move to their respective polling stations from today.
“All poll material along with EVMs and VVPATs are ready for dispatched to the polling stations,” Bhattacharjee said adding, the Election Commission had appointed general and expenditure observers to oversee the entire polling process. Elaborate security arrangements have been made with deployment of state police, ITBP along with four companies of central paramilitary forces from outside the State.
Altogether, 150 polling personnel have been deployed for Pakke-Kessang while 220 polling personnel would conduct the polling in Likabali constituency, Bhattacharjee said.
The Pakke-Kessang seat is all set for a straight contest between former Deputy Chief Minister Kameng Dolo contesting on a Congress ticket and BJP nominee B R Waghe, while the Likabali constituency would see a multi-cornered contest with four
candidates in the fray, including Kardo Nyigyor (BJP), Modam Dini (Congress), Gumke Riba of Peoples’ Party of Aruchal and Independent candidate Sengo Taipodia.
A total 7,455 voters including 3943 females would exercise their franchise in 29 polling stations in Pakke-Kessang, while 10608 electorates including 5331 female voters would cast their votes in 39 polling stations in Likabali constituency. Counting of votes would take place on December 24 next.
The Likabali seat had fallen vacant after Health and Family Welfare Minister Jomde Ke passed away on September 4 this year at a city hospital in Guwahati.
The Pakke-Kessang fell vacant after the Gauhati High Court declared null and void the election of former Deputy Chief Minister Kameng Dolo from the said constituency in March 15, 2014 polls following an election petition filed against him by BJP nominee and former minister Atum Welly.
Welly alleged that the fraudulent move threw him out of the election, as the EC had accepted a forged letter of withdrawal of his candidature, which led to election of his lone opponent.
Dolo had won the election unopposed in 2014. Welly, in his election petition earlier, said that withdrawal of his candidature was illegal as his sigture was forged.