66 percent voting in Arunachal Pradesh

An elderly voter in Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh on her way to polling booth with her son on Thursday.

Polling personnel in Arunachal Pradesh grappled with poor internet connectivity as a result of which only 66% polling was reported in the frontier state on Thursday.

Elections for 57 of the 60 Assembly seats and two Lok Sabha seats were conducted together. A total 181 candidates were in the fray for the Assembly elections.

"We are waiting for updates from our districts as internet connectivity is very poor in most places outside Itanagar," an official in the state chief electoral office said. 

Polling was low since morning with only 13.3% turning up till 9 am. The turn out, however, picked up by 3 pm when 50.79% voting was reported. In 2014 elections, the state had reported 76.94% polling.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu cast his vote in Mukto constituency in Tawang district, where he is facing the Congress’s Thupten Kunphen, a monk in a monastery in Tawang. This is his first electoral fight ever since he entered electoral politics in 2011. He had won unopposed in 2011 and 2014.

Although the fight in most constituencies was between BJP and Congress, regional parties like People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA), Nationalist People’s Party, JD(U) and JD(S) have fielded candidates, some of whom are former MLAs.

The BJP's three candidates were declared winners unopposed, and the party is hoping to form its first elected government in the state this time.

In 2014, Congress had won the Assembly elections but 33 of its 44 MLAs led by chief minister Pema Khandu first joined PPA and then merged into BJP in 2016 to form the government. The BJP had formed its first government in the frontier state in 2003 when MLAs of Arunachal Congress led by Gegong Apang had defected to the saffron party.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju was the star candidate of BJP against former chief minister and Congress leader Nabam Tuki in Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat.

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66 percent voting in Arunachal Pradesh

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