SRINAGAR: State Election Commissioner, Jammu and Kashmir, K K Sharma, on Wednesday said that foolproof mechanism has been put in place to ensure peaceful, transparent and secure conduct of first time District Development Council elections and panchayat by-elections in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which would go a long way in ensuring decentralization of powers to the grass-root level.
State Election Commissioner was interacting with All Deputy Commissioners of Jammu Division through Video conferencing while chairing a meeting held to review law and order situation and security arrangements for ensuing smooth and successful conduct of polls being held between November- 28 to December-19.
The meeting among others was attended by Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma and IGP Jammu Mukesh Singh besides other concerned.
“Arrangements are being put in place to ensure the conduct of polls in a free and fair manner across the UT,” the SEC maintained saying that we have to ensure safe elections are held in the UT.
While obtaining necessary feedback from the concerned Deputy Commissioners of different districts, the SEC was informed that adequate security arrangements shall be provided to all participating candidates whether party based or independent including star campaigners besides all other facilities to ensure comfortable campaigning in their respective areas.
Terming these elections as historic and watershed in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, SEC said the DDC polls which are being held for the first time in the UT are important and shall ensure district-level leadership to the people besides accelerating the development activities of every area and village.
Besides discussing law and order and security arrangements, Heli services to far-flung areas of Jammu division and other districts were also discussed during the meeting.
The SEC directed the Divisional Commissioner Jammu to ensure that snow clearance is done in the areas which are snowbound or are likely to get the snowfall in ensuing days. He said that an effective mechanism should be put in place so that the voters do not suffer and areas do not remain cut off from the district headquarters.
While reviewing the special arrangements of postal ballots for various categories of people including senior citizens and COVID- 19 positive in isolation and Migrant voters as well, the SEC said that they should ensure everyone who can’t turn up to the polling booth is given the opportunity to exercise his/ her right to franchise.
SEC asked the officers to ensure that necessary awareness is also created among people to follow all Covid related SOPs including use of face masks and hand sanitizers while participating in the election process. He also asked concerned officers and officials to ensure availability of face masks and hand sanitizers at all polling booths during the voting process to ensure containment of the spread of Covid-19.