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72 pc voter turnout in Arunachal Pradesh

IANS
Oct 13, 2009 at 08:51pm IST

Itanagar: Voting in the Assembly election in Arunachal Pradesh ended on Tuesday with heavy turnout, officials said.

"Voting has ended peacefully with premilinary reports that an estimated 72 per cent polling was recorded," an election official said here.

"The final polling per centage could be a little higher as we are still compiling figures from remote areas," the official said.

LONG WALK AHEAD: Officials arrive for polling duty on the eve of Assembly elections in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.

There were a few minor incidents of faulty working of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and temporary suspension of voting, but otherwise polling passed off peacefully, officials said.

Voting was held for 57 seats as three candidates have already been declared elected unopposed.

Chief minister Dorjee Khandu and two more Congress members were declared elected unopposed - sitting legislator Tsewang Dhondup from Tawang constituency and debutant Jambey Tashi from Lumla.

Khandu was elected unopposed from the Mukto constituency in Tawang district, bordering China, in the 1999 and 2004 Assembly elections as well.

Many people queued up at polling stations well before voting began at 7 a.m.

"The enthusiasm of voters was tremendous with both young and old casting their ballots," the official said.

A total of 154 candidates were in the fray with the ruling Congress party fielding candidates to all the 60 seats.

An estimated 750,000 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise.

The fight for political supremacy would be between the ruling Congress party and a fractured opposition - two of them, the Natioalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Trinamool Congress, part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in New Delhi, and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

"It was heartening to see people come out in large numbers. This is an indication that we are winning the polls hands down once again," a confident Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu told IANS soon after voting ended as scheduled at 1600 hrs IST.

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