Karbi poll today amid tight vigil

Source : Telegraph India

SARAT SARMA

Nagaon, Jan. 3: Unprecedented security arrangements have been made in Karbi Anglong on the eve of elections to the autonomous council following reports of threats to some Congress candidates by the Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT).

Six CRPF companies will patrol villages adjoining 36 hyper-sensitive polling stations of the district and elaborate security arrangements have been made in the seven border outposts to thwart any infiltration attempt by militants from outside the state or district .

Of the 555 polling stations, 264 are sensitive, 98 very sensitive and 36 hyper-sensitive. The superintendent of police, Anurag Agarwala, today said police had received information about the threat issued by the KLPT to a section of Congress leaders and special security arrangements have been made for them.

“All possible confidence building measures have been taken so that people, specially those who belong to minority communities, can exercise their right to franchise freely. We have sufficient security forces to prevent any untoward incident during election hours,” he said.

Karbi Anglong deputy commissioner Rakesh Kumar said that the administration had assured people of all possible support and security so that they could vote without hesitation or fear.

“Till now we have not received any complaint in black and white but some information is there and measures are being taken for the safety of candidates and voters,” he said.

Around 5.16 lakh voters will exercise their franchise to elect 26 representatives from the 150 contesting candidates. The Congress, which has been in power in the council since 2001, has fielded candidates in all 26 constituencies.

The Peoples’ Alliance for Peace Agreement (PAPA), a conglomeration of various organisations, backs 25 Independent candidates, including six members of the recently-dissolved United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS).

Jayanta Rangpi, Holiram Terang and John Ingti Kathar, the three influential political leaders of the district, have backed 26 Independent candidates this time. Misrule of Congress, largescale corruption in the council during Congress rule, family-centred politics and KPLT’s threat to Congress candidates are some significant issues which stand in the way of the Congress winning a third term.

Eight heavyweight Congress leaders submitted nominations as Independent candidates after they were denied party tickets. They include chairman of the sitting council Mangalsingh Engti, three members of the autonomous council, two party vice-presidents and two general secretaries. The KPLT killed three Congress leaders in the district last year.

The recent accord, peace and development of the district and upgrade of the council to a territorial council as per accord are the main election issues of PAPA this time.

In the 10th autonomous council, the Congress has 21 elected members and its strength rose to 24 after four ASDC members joined the party (and Congress suspended one elected member).

Counting will be on held on January 9 and the elected body will take charge immediately.

“I am sure that the people of Langfer will elect me as their representative in the council. I promise to work for them,” said former UPDS joint secretary Kanjeng Terang. He is contesting against DCC president and senior executive member (PHE) Sum

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