Congress wins uncontested in over 60 per cent Panchayat seats

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Itanagar, May 20 (UNI) The ruling Congress in Arunachal Pradesh is all set to form the three-tier local self government in the state, as the party has already bagged over 60 per cent Panchayat seats unopposed, much ahead of the polling scheduled on May 26.

''We are confident that our party will manage a clean sweep in the Panchayat polls,'' Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu said during a press conference here this morning.

The party had won 4,954 out of the 7,425 Gram Panchayat (GP) seats uncontested, while bagging 787 Anchal Samiti Member (ASM) seats out of a total 1,778 and made inroads in 33 Zila Parishad Member (ZPM) seats out of a total 161.

However, by-polls would be conducted for one ZPM, one ASM and 163 GP seats, following non-filing and cancellation of nominations.

Altogether, 293 Congress GPs were elected unopposed in Tawang district, followed by West Kameng (373), East Kameng (209), Papum Pare (214), Kurung Kumey (337), Lower Subansiri (553), Upper Subansiri (397), West Siang (397), Upper Siang (166), East Siang (310), Dibang Valley (54), Lower Dibang Valley (173), Lohit (480), Changlang (348), Tirap (594) and Anjaw (76).

Out of the total 787 uncontested ASM candidates, 79 won from Tawang, 58 from West Kameng, East Kameng (53), Papum Pare (23), Kurung Kumey (63), Lower Subansiri (127), Upper Subansiri (62), West Siang (69), Upper Siang (17), East Siang (50), Dibang Valley (11), Lower Dibang Valley (28), Lohit (57), Changlang (41), Tirap (39) and Anjaw (10).

Six ZPMs won unopposed from Tawang district, three from West Kameng and Lower Subansiri, five from East Kameng and Upper Subansiri, two from Dibang Valley and Tirap, besides one each from Papum Pare, West Siang, East Siang, Lower Dibang Valley, Lohit, Changlang, and Anjaw districts.

Replying to a query regarding the misuse of government machinery and involvement of money power during electioneering as alleged by the Opposition BJP, the Chief Minister, while refuting such contentions, said no misuse of government machinery was possible when the Election Model Code of conduct was in force.

On devolution of power to the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRI), Mr Khandu said all powers would be devolved at the earliest to make grassroots Democracy more transparent.

''We have constituted a committee to study the devolution of powers, including financial powers, to Panchayat bodies and would implement it as soon as the committee submits its report,'' he added.

On the recent allegations levelled by BJP national vice-president Bijoya Chakraborty during a press conference here that Rs 24.30 crore, released by the Centre for the PRIs, was deposited at the bank, Mr Khandu clarified that the amount was duly released, which had already reached every district of the state.

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