Arunachal Pradesh, 18th November: All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) along with other political party leaders urged the State Election Commission’s of Arunachal to postpone local panchayat and municipality elections scheduled on 22 December.

Aapsu strongly condemns the state election Commission which hastily announced the panchayat and municipality elections amid a pandemic scenario.

Urging the SEC to reconsider its decision, the students’ union served a two-day ultimatum and demanded a response, stating that failing to respond would invite a serious democratic movement for what it’s termed “restoring the indigenous rights.

AAPSU president Hawa Bagang said, “The health department also issued an advisory, considering the surge in Covid-19 cases and the state’s health infrastructure, that holding local bodies.”

Union claimed that there was no public notice or circular issued regarding the existing electoral roll prior to the announcement of local bodies’ election. No hearing on addition and deletion of voters list was conducted and final electoral roll was published only on 11 November 2020.

The apex students union further no opportunity was given to the public for claims and objection and correction of the voter list.

Stating that the Panchayat election is done on the basis of the recommendation of Dying Ering Recommendation 1965, however, there was a gross mistake by including temporary settlers of Arunachal in the Panchayat election in Vijoynagar, given the right as Indigenous tribes.

AAPSU urged the commission for early correction. It stated that non-indigenous settlers of Vijoynagar were settled with the specific conditions of territorial integration of India in the 1960s and their land lease agreement of the Vijoynagar area settlers ended in 2020 and there is no question of extending the settlers the rights of participation in the Panchayat election.

Arunachal cannot be compared to any other states where elections are held amid covid pandemic. The health infrastructure of the state is very poor and if elections are conducted now so it is high chances of spreading the virus in the interior villages where road connectivity is not that good.