Himachal conducive for free poll – VS Sampath

Photo by: Amit Kanwar.
Photo by: Amit Kanwar.

Shimla: After reviewing poll preparations, chief election commissioner VS Sampath declared here on Monday that all reasonable measures for holding a free and fair poll in Himachal had been put in place.

He said that for the 46,06,674 voters in the state, there would be a total of 7253 polling station that would be manned by at least two uninformed police personnel. Male voters outnumber female voters.

There are 23,28,721 male voters and 22,57,953 female voters in the state, he said.

State police forces would be supplemented with 16 companies of central para-military forces and would be deployed in vulnerable and sensitive areas, he said.

Responding to a question about complaints against some officers, the commissioner without naming anyone said that the concerned officials had been asked to conduct themselves in a manner that would facilitate conduct of a free and fair poll.
He said, 12 elections observers – 3 for each of the 4  constituencies, had been appointed, who in turn would be assisted by mini-observers for conduct of the elections.

To thwart movement of miscreants before polling day, interstate borders would be sealed and monitored, said Sampath. This would also check free-flow of liquor and illegal cash that could be used influencing voters, he added.

Anil Khachi,  chief electoral officer, Himachal disclosed that 708 polling booths in the state had been marked as hypersensitive.

Polling parties and election material would be air-lifted by helicopter to access the land-locked valley of Dodra Kawar in Shimla district and Bara Bangal in Kangra. There are 7 polling booths in Dodra-Kawar and one in Bara-Bangal, said Khachi.

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