Lok Sabha polls: 16.23 lakh voters eligible to vote in Udhampur Constituency tomorrow

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The Udhampur Parliamentary Constituency is all set to go to polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha election on Friday, with a total of 16.23 lakh voters, including 8.45 lakh male and 7.77 lakh female, were eligible to exercise their franchise.

“Among the total electorate, around 23,637 persons are with disability besides 403 persons above 100 years of age who have been enrolled to participate in the electoral process”, said Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer, P K Pole in an official communiqué.

He said that around 2,637 polling stations are completely ready for first phase of the Lok Sabha polls to be held across five districts of Kathua, Udhampur, Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban.

Of these, he added that 136 polling stations are P-2 while 31 polling stations belong to P-7 to P-3 category.

Among the districts, Pole added that Kathua has 25 polling stations along the international border. In total, more than 11000 polling staff including reserve will be deployed on duty.

The communique said that the polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm before which there will be mock poll in presence of the polling agents.

The voting will continue even after 6.00 pm, in case voters are still waiting for their turn in the polling station premises.

Every polling station will be provided with Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) besides wheel chairs will also be provided to the needy. The ballot units will have list of contesting candidates in brail script.

“Where ever required there will be separate queue for senior citizens and specially abled persons facilitating them for early voting,” he added and said that additionally, there will be voter help desk, manned by concerned Booth Level Officer (BLO) to extend necessary help to the needy.

There will be 19 polling booths manned by women (also called as pink polling stations), 14 polling booths manned by specially abled persons and 17 polling booths will be looked after by youths and also in order to spread message about environmental concern, there will be 20 green polling stations, said the CEO.

Aimed to facilitate voters in identification and increase voter turnout, all voters have been provided with voter information slip with all requisite details like Polling Station name, date and time of poll, serial number of voter in the list, his full name, QR code but not the photograph of the voter, he said.

He added that hence, Voter Information Slips will not be allowed as proof of the identity of voters.

“The concerned BLOs have already distributed voter information slips among all the electorates. Also, the citizens can view details of the Polling Station, Parliamentary Constituency, and get the contact details of the Booth Level Officer, Electoral Registration Officer among other services, through Voter Helpline App (VHA). This mobile app is available on the Google Play store and Apple App Store,” said Pole.

In addition to Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC), 12 types of documents will also be allowed to verify a voter and allow him for voting as EPIC card is not mandatory for voting. These documents included Aadhaar Card, MGNREGA Job Card, Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under scheme of Ministry of Labour, Driving License, PAN Card, Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, Indian Passport, Pension document with photograph, Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt/PSUs/Public Limited Companies, Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs and Unique Disability ID (UDID) Card, issued by Union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment.

The Voter Turnout App will be used to display estimated provisional voter turnout details of each Parliamentary Constituency entered by the RO. The media can also use the same application to capture estimated voter turnout data. Approximate voter turnout data of each phase of the elections will be displayed through this app, he said and added, “there will be two hourly reporting of voting percentage from 9.00 am to the end of poll. The concerned ARO and RO will share the data with media accordingly. Even the updated figures will be placed in voter turnout app.”

Around 1440 polling stations in phase I will have CCTV cameras for live webcasting to control rooms established at District and CEO office. Besides, 200 polling stations will have two cameras, for inside and outside surveillance. Around 2100 vehicles of polling parties and sector officers will be equipped with GPS system so as to locate the vehicle and monitor movement. Also, Satellite Phones, Wireless sets and Special Runners have been put in place for about 95 polling stations which are in communication shadow areas.

In the entire Union Territory, from the date of announcement of election to till date material/ cash of around Rs 5.34 crore has been seized by various enforcing departments.

The J&K Election office is implementing Model Code of Conduct in letter and spirit by facilitating the general masses to exercise their right to vote in a free and fair manner. The public campaigning in areas of Udhampur Parliamentary Constituency has concluded on April 17 evening, allowing the voters a peaceful break from being influenced by the election campaigns.

Till date, 75 grievances have been received on C-VIGIL app and more than 50 percent resolved in time while others are under resolution. For filing Model Code of Conduct Violation cases by the citizens, C-VIGIL app provides time stamped evidentiary proof of the Model Code of Conduct/ Expenditure Violation by empowering every citizen to click a photo or video using his or her smartphone.

Likewise, to monitor various election related activities and check model code of conduct compliance, a 24×7 working Command and Control Room has been established at CEO office, Jammu and similar mini control rooms have been set up at every DEO office.

Apart from looking for MCC violations, the Control room also has live feed of more than 55 percent polling stations and all vehicles being used for poll parties movement.

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