Slain MLA Tirong Aboh (left) and his wife Chakat Aboh Credit: File image
Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh being laid to rest in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh

Itanagar: The by-election to the Khonsa West assembly constituency, scheduled to be held on October 21, is all set to witness a direct contest between Chakat Aboh, wife of slain MLA Late Tirong Aboh, and Azet Homtok, as two other candidates withdrew their candidature on the last day of doing so on Thursday.

A notification, issued by the office of the chief electoral officer (CEO) on Thursday evening, informed that Yumsem Matey and Wangchu Lowang withdrew their nomination papers.

The Khonsa West seat had fallen vacant after its sitting MLA Tirong Aboh, his 20-year-old son and nine others were gunned down by suspected insurgents in Tirap district on May 21 this year. The legislator was on his way to Khonsa, the district headquarters of Tirap, from Dibrugarh in Assam when suspected Naga militants opened fire on his four-vehicle convoy.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is currently looking into the case.

The CEO’s notification further said that considering the sensitivity of the constituency, all precautionary arrangements have been made to prevent any untoward incident during the bye-election.javascript:void(0)

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“Adequate security will be provided to both the contesting candidates and the district administration has made elaborate arrangements for smooth conduct of the bye-election. First-level checking of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) has been done and necessary training to the 115 polling personnel has been scheduled for this week. Nodal officers have been appointed to co-ordinate various subject matters,” the notification read.

Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh was killed in an ambush near Bogapani in Arunachal’s Tirap district on May 21

The Election Commission of India has deployed two observers — Monoranjan Dutta (general observer) and Parneet Singh (expenditure observer) — to oversee the poll process in the said constituency. If any violation of model code of conduct is noticed the same may be brought to the notice of the Election Commission of India (ECI) observers immediately, the notification added.

Meanwhile, the election authority has requested all the voters of the constituency to co-operate with the district administration and election machinery for peaceful conduct of the bye-election.

The Khonsa West assembly constituency has a total of 10,185 voters including 4,959 male and 5,226 female voters. The total number of polling stations is 23.

Aboh had contested this year’s assembly elections as a National People’s Party candidate and had also retained the seat by defeating his lone rival, Phawang Lowang of the BJP, by 1,055 votes.

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