Arunachal candidates sign MoU for clean elections

An open-air public meeting held on Sunday in the Dree festival ground at Ziro saw two candidates, one from BJP and one Congress contesting in the 17th Ziro-Hapoli Assembly constituency (Scheduled Tribe) sign the MoU with the Apatani Youth Association (AYA). Photo by D Tagey, Ziro.

The Apatani Youth Association (AYA) in Arunachal Pradesh has made candidates for Assembly elections to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a promise not to use money or muscle power for votes during the campaign.

An open-air public meeting held on Sunday in the Dree festival ground at Ziro saw two candidates, from the BJP and the Congress, who are contesting in the 17th Ziro-Hapoli Assembly constituency (Scheduled Tribe), sign the MoU with the AYA. Ziro, situated at an altitude of over 5,500 feet is a tourist place and is inhibited by the colourful Apatani community.

The 13-point MoU strictly stipulates that candidates should not bribe the voters with money or any other materials and should not indulge in any activity that may cause hatred or tension. It also has rules against using caste, community or religion for securing votes, not to set up camps in villages, not to do campaigning beyond 9 pm, not to indulge in booth capturing, besides others.

Tagey Taki of BJP and Nani Ribia of Congress are contesting for the Assembly constituency. Elections for the 60-member Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats would be held together on April 11.

Formed in 1974, the AYA decided to launch the clean election campaign as the use of money is a serious problem during elections in Arunachal Pradesh. Distribution of money and community feasting organised by candidates is common in the frontier state.

"The public meeting included platform speeches by both the candidates and question round from the public and media to candidates and a cross-question each by both the candidates, after which the MOU was signed. Candidates were strictly told that any violation of the MoU would result in non-cooperation from people," a statement issued by the association said.

President and secretary general of Apatani Gaon Burah (village headman) Welfare Association also signed the MOU as two witnesses.

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Arunachal candidates sign MoU for clean elections

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