The Office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Punjab has made all necessary arrangements to ensure free, fair and peaceful Lok Sabha bye-elections in Jalandhar.Briefing the media, Chief Electoral Officer, Sibin C informed that the election machinery is working round the clock to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections.
He said that there are as many as 16,21,759 electorates including 8,44,904 Male, 7,76,855 Female, 10,286 Persons with Disability, 1850 Service Electors, 73 Overseas Electors and 41 Transgender. There are 19 candidates in fray including 15 Male and 4 Female, he added.
He said that of the total 19 candidates, three are from National Parties, one from State Party, seven from Unrecognised Parties, while eight are Independent Candidates. He said that as many as five contesting candidates are with Criminal Antecedents.
Sibin C said that 1972 polling stations have been established and webcasting of all the polling stations is being done. He also informed that polling stations locations having more than three polling stations, which are in total 166 in Jalandhar parliamentary constituency, will have additional cameras installed outside the polling location.
542 vulnerable polling stations have been identified, 16 have been marked as critical and 30 Expenditure Sensitive Pockets have been identified, he added.Divulging more information, CEO Punjab said that as many as 4839 ballot units, 2927 Control Unit and 2973 VVPATs are being used in this election.
He further informed that there would be 45 Model Polling Stations and nine (one per AC) women managed polling stations.He said that Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) including Potable Water, Tent & Chairs, at least one wheel chair at every polling station will be assured at every Polling Station.
Beside this, every polling station will have COVID-19 material including Gloves, Sanitizer, Soap and Mask, while, Dustbin and Colour bags will be placed for disposal of COVID waste material. He said that food and refreshments will be provided to all the polling staff.
He added that postal ballot facility was provided to 80 plus senior citizens, persons with disability and COVID patients to cast their vote from the convenience of their homes and 888 electors used their franchise through postal ballot.Sibin C said that as many as 703 GPS enabled vehicles are being used for transportation of EVMs and 27 flying squad team (3 per AC) with web camera are keeping round the clock vigil.
The CEO informed that 1083 complaints have been received on National Grievances Redressal Portal (NGRS) since Model Code of Conduct came into the force, and of which 989 were disposed-off, while 94 are under process. He further informed that 1381 complaints were received on v-Vigil App and out of which 1142 were found correct and were resolved within stipulated 100 minutes.
Giving the briefing about law and order, Sibin C said that Police parties deployed across the parliamentary constituency have been conducting thorough searches to check the flow of liquor, narcotics and money to ensure free and fair elections.
CEO Punjab also informed that Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regarding last 48 hours come into force from 6pm, May 8, 2023. He also informed that in view of Polls, the Jalandhar district has been declared a dry day on dates from 6pm on May 8, 2023 till conclusion of polls on May 10, 2023 and there will be complete ban on sale of liquor during this period in the district.
He also informed that liquor vendors falling in the radius of 3KMs in the neighbouring districts have also been declared dry day during this period.He said that there will be ban on unlawful assemblies and prohibition on holding of public meetings during the silence period, applicable for the areas/constituencies bound for polls.
Meanwhile, as per the instructions of the Election Commission of India (ECI), the Punjab Government has announced a holiday in Jalandhar district on May 10, 2023 in view of the Lok Sabha Bye-Elections to facilitate the voters to exercise their franchise to vote.
As per the provisions of Section 135B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the employees of Industrial Establishments, Commercial Establishments, Shops and Establishments will have a paid holiday on the date of polling in Jalandhar on May 10, 2023.