Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh State Election Commission on Tuesday announced the schedule for bye-election to two-tier Panchayat bodies to be held on July 12 next.
These include 130 Gram Panchayat Constituencies (GPCs) and one Zilla Parishad Constituency (ZPC) spread over 20 districts of the hilly state.
The general elections to the rural local bodies were held in December 2020.
The by-poll was necessitated due to various reasons such as rejection of nomination papers, non-availability of eligible candidates, law and order, disqualification under the anti-defection law, death, and resignation (of elected members), State Election Commissioner (SEC) Hage Kojeen said in a press conference here.
“The elections to 40 GPCs and one ZPC in Vijoynagar administrative sub-division of Changlang district have been kept pending due to law and order, and other administrative issues,” the SEC said.
He said ballot papers will be used in the bye-election, to be conducted at 101 polling stations.
The notification for the bye-election will be issued on June 14. The last date of filing a nomination will be June 21, the date of scrutiny is June 23 and the last date of withdrawal of nomination is June 27. Counting of votes will take place on July 16 and the date by which the election is to be completed is July 20, Kojeen said.
With the announcement of bye-elections to the two-tier Panchayats, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) of the Commission shall come into force with immediate effect in the ZPC and GPCs concerned, he said while adding that all political parties, party workers, candidates, and election officials are expected to abide by the MCC and the instructions of the Commission.
Earlier, a consultative meeting with the State Government was held last week wherein relevant issues including security arrangements were discussed to ensure free, fair, and peaceful conduct of the bye-election. The Commission had also a review meeting with all concerned Deputy Commissioner cum District Election Officers (DEOs) through video conferencing on preparedness for the by-elections.
The special summary revision of the electoral rolls of the concerned vacant Panchayat constituencies has been carried out, and the final publication of E/Roll has also been done on May 30 last.
Even though COVID-19 cases reach almost nil in the state, Kojeen said, Covid protocol like the use of face masks, hand sanitizer, and physical distancing to be followed as per the existing guidelines of the SEC.
More than 500 election officials will be involved excluding the security personnel, he said, while adding that with regard to the security assessment, it shall be done by the concerned DEOs/DMs as per the prevailing situation and inputs given by the Superintendent of Police of concerned districts.
Approximately 7,000 voters are likely to exercise their adult franchise in the single-phase polls, State Election Commission Secretary Nyali Ete said.
The SEC, meanwhile, appealed to all stakeholders, including the voters, the candidates, and the political parties to extend their support and cooperation so that the by-elections can be held in a free, fair, and peaceful manner.