Voters line up to cast their votes during the assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh on April 11 Credit: File image

Itanagar: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday declared that the poll conducted in 19 polling stations, where violence was reported during the first phase of this year’s Assembly elections on April 11, will witness re-polling on April 20.

In all, one polling station each in Bomdila, Dumporijo, Bameng, Liromoba and Likhabali Assembly Constituencies will witness re-poll. Whereas, three polling stations in Chayangtajo, two polling stations in Yachuli and three in Daporijo assembly constituency will also witness re-polling.

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In the Arunachal Pradesh East Parliamentary Constituency, one polling station in Pangin, three in Namsai and one each in Kanubari and Longding-Pumao Assembly Constituency will also see re-polling.

The concerned returning officers (RO) and assistant returning officers (ARO) have been directed to take necessary arrangements for fresh re-poll. The police department will make appropriate arrangements in terms of security for a peaceful re-poll.

Addressing media persons in Nirvachan Bhawan in Itanagar on Wednesday, the additional chief electoral officer (ACEO) Kangki Darrang said that the fresh re-poll of the 19 polling stations will take simultaneously on Saturday.

He also informed that four Assembly constituencies of Kurung Kumey and Kra Daadi districts, including Palin, Tali, Nyapin and Koloriang, where polling teams were stranded due to some reasons, have not been included in the fresh re-polling list.

“The scrutiny of these four constituencies is going on and once the report is dispatched to us by the election observer and returning officer, decision will be taken accordingly,” Darang said.

Darang also discarded the rumours on social media about state Election Commission not being neutral in the process of conducting election and being partial to the ruling BJP government in the state.

“EC is totally neutral in the state and everyone is trying hard to conduct peaceful, free and fair election. We don’t have any pressure from any individual or political party,” Darrang said, adding that security arrangement is put into priority, where 12 companies of paramilitary forces were deployed to maintain law & order problems in Kurung Kumey and Kra Daadi districts on polling day, that is, April 11.

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Darrang also said that more deployment of local police and paramilitary forces will be done in sensitive areas so that law & order problems can be maintained to the fullest extent. As of now, for the re-polling, four DSPs, two SPs and the DIG himself are present in Koloriang, the headquarters of Kurung Kumey district where several cases of violence were reported during the first phase of elections on April 11.

Meanwhile, Darrang informed that the total voting percentage has increased from 76.95% to 77.38%, with female voters being dominant at 79.63% and male at 75.07%.

Darrang also requested the voters not to destroy the EVM machines, as the instruction already has been issued that those voters seen indulging in such acts will not be allowed to vote.

Earlier, there were reports from Pania polling station of Yachuli assembly constituency where a voter damaged the EVM by a hammer. Darang said, “We can’t check each and every voter personally, whether he or she is carrying any harmful objects that can create violence and impact the ambience during polls.”

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