After a delay of over two years, the panchayat and municipal elections will be held in Arunachal Pradesh on December 22, election officials said on Thursday.
The elections were delayed due to the the conversion process of the three-tier panchayat system in the state to a two-tier one and municipal councils to municipal corporations, State Election Commissioner (SEC) Hage Kojeen said to PTI.
The elections were scheduled in April to May this year however the COVID-19 outbreak delayed the process further, he added.
"The public notice for the elections will be issued by returning officers on November 24 and the last date for filing nomination papers is on December 2. The scrutiny of the documents will take place on December 4 and the last date for withdrawal of the nominations is December 7. The votes will be counted on December 26 and the entire process will be completed by December 31," the official said.
"The commission will deploy 27 observers to oversee the election process in 25 districts, including the Itanagar Municipal Corporation and the Pasighat Municipality. Over 40,000 security personnel and election officials will be deployed for conducting free and fair elections," Kojeen said.
EVMs will be used for elections to the civic bodies, while ballot boxes will be used in the panchayat elections, he said.
There will no longer be any post of anchal samiti member after the panchayat system conversion, the official said.
Arunachal Pradesh has 25 zilla parishads with 241 constituencies, and 2,215 gram panchayats with 8,436 seats, the PTI report said.
The two civic bodies in the state — Itanagar Municipal Corporation and Pasighat Municipality — have 20 and eight wards respectively, he said to PTI.
A total of 7,39,284 voters will be eligible to exercise their franchise in 2,175 polling booths for both the elections, the official added.