#Kashmir By Election: 27 lakh people to vote in April, CEO tells political parties

SRINAGAR: With Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Shantmanu having a detailed meeting with political parties and ordering strict implementation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC), the countdown for by elections for twin Lok Sabha seats has formally begun. He said complete transparency and security shall be ensured for smooth and peaceful conduct of by-polls, an official spokesman here said.

Shantmanu was interacting with representatives of various political parties in Srinagar.

On the occasion, the Chief Electoral Officer said that all the necessary arrangements have been finalized for the smooth conduct of the polls. He directed the officials to ensure that MCC is strictly adhered. He said that all arrangements including appointment of poll officials, checking of EVMs, updation of Electoral Photo Identity Cards etc have been finalized.

The representatives of various political parties stressed on the need to provide security to participating candidates, star campaigners and other leaders, while assuring abiding of the MCC guidelines and cooperation in conduct of peaceful, free and fair elections. The CEO assured the representatives that all of their genuine concerns will be taken care of.

The CEO informed the meeting that around 27 lakh voters will exercise their franchise during the by-elections in two parliamentary seats of Srinagar and Anantnag. He said that the voters also include around 75000 migrant voters. He said that the electoral rolls will be further updated in the coming week to ensure more voters get registered. He also said that elections offices shall remain open on March 21, 2017, despite State holiday, which is the last day for filing of nominations for Srinagar parliamentary constituency.

Shantmanu further said that for smooth conduct of the elections, 31 Assistant Returning Officers have also been appointed for the 31 assembly constituencies involved in these two parliamentary seats.  He said that one overall observer, two general observers, security observer and expenditure observer for the elections are also in the offing.

Srinagar and Anantnag parliament seats would go to polls on April 9 and 12 respectively. Votes would be counted on April 15. Gazette notification for by-polls to Srinagar would be issued on March 14 and Anantnag on March 17. Last dates for filing nominations for Srinagar and Anantnag is March 21 and 24 respectively.

ARO Appointed

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a notification with regard to appointment of Assistant Returning Officers (ARO) for Bye-election to 2-Srinagar and 3-Anantnag Parliamentary Constituencies in the State.

The Divisional Forest Officer, Sindh (Ganderbal), Programme Officer, ICDS, Ganderbal, Deputy Director, Rural Development, Kashmir, Deputy Commissioner (Vigilance), Commercial Taxes Department, Srinagar, Secretary, Srinagar Development Authority, Secretary, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, Chief Agriculture Officer, Srinagar, Deputy Director, FCADP, Srinagar, Personnel Officer, Directorate of School, Education, Kashmir, Deputy Commissioner, Excise, Kashmir, Divisional Forest Officer PP Division, Budgam, Executive Engineer, Irrigation Division, Budgam, Chief Agriculture Officer, Budgam, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Chadoora and Executive Engineer, R&B, Chadoora have been appointed as  Assistant Returning Officers for 2-Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency.

Similarly, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Tral, Assistant Commissioner (Development), Pulwama, DFO, Social Forestry, Pulwama, Programme Officer, ICDS, Pulwama, Executive Engineer, PHE, Division, Shopian, Project Officer, Wages & Employment, (ACD), Shopian, Chief Executive Officer, PDA, Anantnag, Superintendant Engineer, R&B, Circle, Anantnag, Divisional Forest Officer, Anantnag, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dooru Verinag, Executive Engineer, R&B, Division, Khannabal, District Panchayat Officer, Anantnag,  Assistant Commissioner (Dev), Kulgam, Assistant Commissioner, (Revenue), Kulgam, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Kulgam and Executive Engineer, R&B Division, Kulgam would be the Assistant Returning Officers for 3-Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency.

DEOs reviews preparations

District Election Officer (Deputy Commissioner) Ganderbal, Tariq Hussain Ganai, has chaired a meeting to review preparations for upcoming by-polls in the district for Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency.

On the occasion, the DEO directed the designated Nodal Officers to constitute special assistance cells and gear up their men and machinery for smooth conduct of elections in the district.

During the meeting, various committees of designated officers were constituted to oversee arrangements for ballot papers, EVM’s, transport, Media, enforcement of Modal code of conduct, man power management, SVEEP, expenditure monitoring and medical health facilities.

The District Election Officer directed Tehsildars to submit verification report of polling stations falling under their jurisdiction and directed the concerned to ensure necessary arrangements like electricity, water supply, wash room and other facilities at the designated polling stations of the district.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, ARO’s, Nodal Officers and other concerned attended the meeting.

District Election Officer Shopian, Manzoor Ahmad Qadri, also convened a meeting to review the preparedness for upcoming by-polls in the district for Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency.

The meeting discussed issue of rationalization of polling stations and resolved that bifurcation of polling stations shall be undertaken where number of voters exceeds the prescribed limit.

On the occasion, the DEO stressed on strict implementation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) guidelines and impressed the representatives of different political parties to abide by it in letter and spirit.

He detailed various aspects of the MCC and asked the representatives to not indulge in hate speeches and personal comments and cooperate with the district administration in smooth, free and fair conduct of the election process.

It was given out that ADC Shopian would be nodal Officer for Training Management and Manpower Management, whereas ACR Shopian would look after Law and Order scenario.

Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers, Representative of Political Parties and other concerned attended the meeting.

In Srinagar, DEO  has asked all the Drawing and Disbursing officers and Controlling officers, who have not furnished list of employees for election purposes, to submit the list by March 14, 2017 up 4 p.m.

He said action as warranted under the election stipulations shall be taken against the officers who fail to communicate the list of employees.

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