Problems of Polling Staff

MOOL RAJ

I am not a think tank but simply a person who want to highlights problem being faced by Polling Staff. Exactly 179 Polling parties have been deployed throughout the length and breadth of Doda and Bhaderwah Assembly segments of 05-Udhampur Parliamentary Constituency of Lok Sabha 17th election on 15th April 2019 for conducting election.This include 73 Polling Parties for Doda and 106 for Bhaderwah along with Polling materials -EVMs, Control Units and VVPATs. 106 Polling parties left to respective Polling stations accompanied by Security personnel, the presiding officers and other team members to undertake the voting process on April 18 ,2019 from 7am till 6pm evening.

  • The fact is that Polling station staffs play a central and crucial role in in the election.
  • It is the polling staff that ensures that voters, political parties, candidates and agents have confidence in the election process.
  • The vital role of the polling staff carries out at the polling station is to ensure the voters are able to cast their vote in secret, free from any kind of influence and in a peaceful atmosphere.

The election is believed to be a National Duty and the teachers, the builders of a Nation, always play a pivotal role in the whole election process. The practice is very difficult, hectic and disrespectful for the PO and their polling staff because to collect and hand over the election material they have to wait all the day for their turn in the RO’s office with no provision of food, water or proper seating. It is beautiful to write here that all the credit for conducting the election goes to Dist.Returing Officer, Returing Officers and Election Commission of India.

However more responsibilies are given to the Presiding Officers which they complete efficently and professionally It is pertinent to mention here that on April 16 ,2019 106 Polling parties departed to Gondoh-Blessa areas very advance. The Polling parties reached far flung areas to perform duties at Polling Station 83-A and 84-B Bajja Higher Secondary School Chiralla.

The parties in the mentioned Polling booth reached two days before the election.The Polling parties left Bhaderwah on 16 April 2019 two day before the election where BLO, Lumberdar and Chowkidar only assured Polling parties for bedding but not provided a single cup of tea and water for the three days consective stay of Polling parties.

Around 24 employees including security personal were deputed and they were not provided any food for three days consecutive stay of Polling parties . On poll day Polling staff left hungry since morning and no one among the Polling staff ate anything.

The Election Commission of India and all responsible institutes and individuals should consider the demoralising and distressing problems being faced by the Presiding Officers and his Polling Staff during the election.

Though teachers are desperately needed for election duty sadly no initiative has been taken to address the genuine concern and problems they experienced while carrying out their election duty.

In this connection no certificate of expenditure is issued to BLOs. Therefore fraud bill should not be accepted from the BLO of 83-A and 84-B Bajja Polling Station. Polling staff had to bring food from outside the Polling Station. The employee criticized the lackadaisical attitude of the election authorities.Last but not least it is requested to Chief Electoral Officer to take cognizance of the matter so that these things are not repeated in future.

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