Itanagar, April 10: The final turnout in Arunachal Pradesh, where simultaneous elections to the mountainous, border state’s two Lok Sabha seats and the state assembly were held, will only be available Friday as polling officials were yet to return to the district headquarters, an election official said.
“As most of the polling officials are yet to reach their respective headquarters, therefore, the voters’ turnout remained the same with 71 percent recorded till the end of Wednesday’s voting at 5 p.m.,” state Chief Electoral Officer Chandra Bhushan Kumar told IANS.
The final figure for the overall voters’ turnout will be ready Friday evening, once all the polling officials gave their final figures, he added.
“It is difficult terrain and most of the polling booths are located in the remote and inaccessible areas. There are many factors that led to the delay of the arrival of the polling officials and weather condition could be one of the factors,” Kumar said.
Arunachal Pradesh shares borders with states of Assam and Nagaland to the south, and has international borders with China in the north, Myanmar in the east and Bhutan in the west.
In fact, the Election Commission had to conduct air sorties to transport polling officials to various remote and inaccessible polling booths to conduct the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state.
Vijaynagar is one of the most remote circles under Miao subdivision in Changlang district and most of the polling booths are not link with paved roads and are accessible only on foot march of five-six days.
Miao subdivision is located at a distance of 157 km from the sub divisional headquarters. Changlang falls under Arunachal East Parliamentary constituency.
Moreover, two polling stations – Luguthang and Mago – in Tawang district bordering China are at a height of more than 13,000 feet. Falling in Arunachal West constituency, they are among the highest in the country and in an area perpetually covered with snow.
In Wednesday’s voting, the electoral fortunes of 11 candidates for the two Lok Sabha seats and 155 candidates for the 49 seats of the 60-member assembly were sealed. Eleven Congress candidates, including Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and two cabinet colleagues Tanga Bayaling and Pema Khandu, have already won uncontested.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kiren Rijiju is contesting against sitting Congress member Takam Sanjoy from Arunachal West, while union minister and Congress leader Ninong Ering faces the BJP’s Tapir Gao.
Tuki, who voted in Sagalee under Arunachal West, exuded confidence that the Congress would retain power and both the sitting Congress Lok Sabha members would return to the lower house.