1017 postal ballot applications rejected: Hailakandi OC

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HT Correspondent

Hailakandi, March 18: The district election authorities held a meeting with the representatives of political candidates, independent candidates and their agents to apprise them on various aspects of Model Code of Conduct guidelines and expenditure here on Thursday.

Convening a meeting with the representatives of political candidates, independent candidates and their agents in presence of election observer for LA 6 and LA 7 constituencies, Effat Ara, election observer for 8 LAC, Jang Bahadur Yadav, police observer for all three LACs, Sandeep Singh Chauhan and officers of all cells at his office conference hall, district electoral officer cum Deputy Commissioner, Megh Nidhi Dahal exhorted upon the contesting candidates and their representatives to abide by the Election Commission of India guidelines for free and fair election in the district.

The DEO told them to lodge complaints against any MCC and expenditure violations to the ECI appointed observers, election authorities, and control room numbers and by using c-Vigil.

Dahal apprised them that arrangements have been put in place to obtain votes from homes from senior citizens above 80 plus and persons with disabilities by deputing polling personnel and asked the representatives and their political agents to be present during the voting process.

In this context, ADC and officer in-charge of postal ballot, Dhrubajyoti Deb disclosed that 1602 12 D forms have been accepted from senior citizens and PwDs for postal ballot and 1017 rejected. Deb said 15 teams for each LAC have been formed consisting of presiding officer, first polling officer, micro observer, security personnel and videographer for facilitating voting through postal ballot at home and that the entire exercise would be carried out from March 21 to 24. He said that only twice the polling personnel will visit the home of the absentee voters to ensure that they are at home on the day of polling and, if found absent, they won’t be able to cast their votes later at the polling station. Persons whose application for availing postal ballot facility at home was rejected would be intimated through different modes of communication so that they can cast their vote at the polling station, he added.

As for essential service voters, facilitation centres will be set up at circle level and the process will begin on March 25 and end on March 27, he said, adding that there were no Covid19 patients at home as per report submitted by the health department.

Appealing to the citizens to strictly observe the COVID protocols following rise in cases in some parts of the country, particularly small towns, Dahal said keeping this in view proper sanitisation will be carried out at the polling stations and protective equipment like mask and gloves to the voters and PPE kit to those having temperature and other COVID like symptoms.

In the same vein, the DEO pointed out that five polling stations have been set up beyond the existing polling stations to ensure that there was no large voter turnout in view of the Covid19 situation.

District development commissioner cum in charge, MCC and election expenditure monitoring cell, RK Laskar asked the representatives of recognised political parties and independent candidates to keep proper account of their expenditure incurred and to obtain prior permission for holding meetings and rallies. As regards publication of advertisement in print and electronic media, Laskar asked them to do so as per DIPR approved rate. He revealed that SST and FSTs have seized over Rs.13 lakh so far.

CEO, Zilla Parishad and in-charge of EVM Cell, Jaydeep Shukla apprised the representatives of political parties and candidates that except Algapur LAC which required two ballot units following large number of candidates, second randomisation of EVMs would be carried out today for 6 Hailakandi and 7 Katlicherra LACs. Following the completion of randomisation, EVMs will be shifted to the strong room, he added.

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