The by-election on Saturday to the Hayuliang assembly constituency in southern Arunachal Pradesh’s Anjaw district bordering Tibet is an all-women show.
This could be a first for the frontier state, The Arunachal Times daily said, but officials said they were not sure.
The by-election is being held following the death of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul. The leader, who won the seat five times in a row, committed suicide on August 9.
Dasanglu Pul, the youngest of the former CM’s three wives, is the BJP candidate for the seat. Her Congress-backed independent rival Yompi Kri is the wife of Lapalum Kri, chief engineer of the state’s public health department whose application for retiring voluntarily was not accepted by the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) government headed by Pema Khandu.
The PPA, an ally of the BJP, has thrown its weight behind Dasanglu Pul.
Mamta Riba, the deputy commissioner of Anjaw district, is the returning officer for the bypoll while Suparna Das Ahmed from West Bengal is the general observer deputed by the Election Commission.
Of the 81 polling stations for 11,003 voters across Hayuliang assembly constituency, 45 Amliang is an all-women polling booth. It is headed by child development project officer Bisailu Chaiton.
“This is routine work for us, but something that needs to be done efficiently after ensuring a peaceful campaigning,” Riba told Hindustan Times from district headquarters Hawai, perched 1,300 metres above the sea level.
The voting was smooth, expected to pick up in the afternoon when the sun lessens the chill in the air, she added.
The Hayuliang bypoll result is scheduled to be declared on November 22, along with that of the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat and Baithalangso assembly seat in Assam and Khowai and Barjala assembly seats in Tripura.