Simultaneous Polls: Voters come out in big numbers in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim

RSTV Bureau
Voters cast vote in Sikkim (Twitter Photo)

Voters cast vote in Sikkim (Twitter Photo)

An estimated 39.08 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 1 pm in 32 legislative assembly constituencies and the lone Lok Sabha constituency in Sikkim. Whereas an estimated voter turnout in Arunachal Pradesh was 40.34 per cent till 1 pm.

Polling for the lone Lok Sabha seat and the Sikkim assembly is being held simultaneously here.

Polling is being held in 567 polling stations spread across four districts in Sikkim.

As many as 39 of 567 polling stations are being manned by all-women personnel.

A total of 4,32,306 voters comprising 2,20,305 males and 2,12,001 females will exercise their franchise on Thursday and 30,480 voters will cast their votes for the first time.

Special arrangements have been made at the polling stations to enable people with disabilities (PWD) to exercise their franchise.

Around 2,042 voters have been registered as the people with disabilities (PWD).

A total of 150 candidates are in the fray for the 32 assembly seats, while 11 candidates are contesting for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state.

Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, who is seeking a record eighth successive term as an MLA, is contesting from two assembly seats – Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi-Singhithang.

Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia, the working president of the Hamro Sikkim party (HSP) has entered into the fray from two assembly seats as well, including the Gangtok assembly constituency, reserved for the indigenous Bhutia-Lepcha communities.

Simultaneous polls are also being held in Arunachal Pradesh to decide the fate of 181 candidates for 57 assembly seats and 12 candidates for two Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

Long queues were seen outside many booths in the state capital since 7 am when the polling began.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made throughout the state to ensure free, fair and peaceful polling.

Maximum security personnel have been deployed in insurgency-hit Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts.

A total of 7,94,162 voters, including 4,01,601 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 2,202 polling stations spread across the state. Eleven polling stations have been set up exclusively for women.

There are also 3,000 physically challenged voters in the state.

The state has 281 vulnerable polling booths and 662 critical polling stations.

The ruling BJP had already opened its account in the assembly polls by winning three seats unopposed in the current election for the 60-member assembly.

The BJP has fielded candidates in the remaining 57 assembly seats while the Congress is contesting in 46 seats, the NPP in 30 seats, JDU in 15, JDS in 12, PPA in nine and the All India Party (AIP) in one seat.

There are also 11 independents in the fray for the assembly polls.

(With inputs from PTI)