ITANAGAR, April 9 - The high-voltage electioneering for the simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha polls in Arunachal Pradesh came to an end at 5 pm today, 48 hours before the polling day. The twin elections will be held on April 11.
�Since the campaigning for the April 11 polls to Lok Sabha and State Assembly seats in Arunachal Pradesh closed at 5 pm this evening, all forms of canvassing or soliciting of votes by the political parties and their candidates in the form of rallies, house-to-house visits are over and no one can carry out those kinds of activities,� stated Additional Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Kanki Darang.
The campaigning � marred by sporadic incidents of violence including killing of two persons allegedly by NSCN militants in the trouble-torn Tirap and Longding districts and the cash-for-votes controversy post recovery of Rs 1.80 crore in Pasighat � saw the political parties going all out to garner votes for their respective candidates.
The BJP, which is eyeing to retain power in the State, was clearly ahead of others in canvassing compared to other political parties in Arunachal Pradesh, once considered a strong bastion of the Congress.
During the month-long campaigning, the State witnessed the BJP top brass, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah and general secretary Ram Madhav, addressing public rallies at different places to garner support for the party candidates.
The Prime Minister addressed two rallies at Aalo in West Siang and Pasighat in East Siang district on March 30 and April 3 respectively. However, Modi�s Pasighat rally was plagued by a big controversy following recovery of Rs 1.80 crore from two cars at the Siang guesthouse on the previous night for which an FIR was filed at the Pasighat Police Station at the directive of the Election Commission.
The Opposition Congress, which has fielded 46 candidates for the 60-member House and party heavyweight and former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki for the Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat and James Lowangcha Wanglat for the Arunachal East seat, also tried to reach out to the voters by roping in star campaigners including Bollywood actor Asrani.
Though the BJP and the Congress are locked in straight contest in most of the seats, the State�s lone regional party, People�s Party of Arunachal (PPA) and new entrants National People�s Party (NPP), Janata Dal (United) and Janata Dal (Secular) are also poised to give a tough fight to both the national parties.
A work force of around 20,000, including polling and security personnel, is working for smooth conduct of the elections, stated the Additional CEO, adding that around 91 all-women polling stations are being set up across the State.
A total of 7,98,248 electors, including 4,03,792 female voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the twin polls. Notably, the BJP has already won three Assembly seats uncontested. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.