Lok Sabha Elections 2024  Srinagar PC all set to go for polls on May 13; 17,47,810 lakh electorates eligible to vote

Bhat Farooq
Last Updated: May 11, 2024 at 8:59 pm

Lok Sabha Elections 2024  Srinagar PC all set to go for polls on May 13; 17,47,810 lakh electorates eligible to vote

11682 PWDs, 705 centenarians to exercise their franchise, 26 Special Polling Stations established for Kashmiri Migrant voters

Srinagar, May 11: (GNS) With all arrangements in place, the polling for 4th phase of ongoing Lok Sabha elections is all set to commence on May 13 in the  2-Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency (PC).

“A total of 17,47,810 lakh voters have been enrolled in phase IV, including 8,75,938 male and 8,71,808 female voters besides 64 third gender electorates. There are around 11682 Persons with Disability and 705 persons above the age of 100 years who will also be exercising their franchise”, read a communiqué received from office of Chief Electoral Officer, J&K.
The communiqué adds that around 2,135 polling stations have  been set up in the fourth phase across 5 districts of Srinagar, Pulwama, Budgam, Ganderbal and Shopian (37- Shopian). The election staff including Presiding Officers will be stationed in every polling station. In total, more than 85,00 polling staff, including reserve will be deployed on duty on the polling day.

The communication added that the voting will take place from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm and before that there will be mock poll in the polling stations in presence of the polling agents. Also, the voting will continue even after 6.00 pm, if voter’s queue is still there in the Polling Station premises to utilize their right to vote.

Every polling station will be provided with Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) like drinking water, electricity, toilet, ramp, furniture, verandah / shed besides wheel chairs will also be provided to the needy. The ballot unit will also have a list of contesting candidates in brail script. Where ever required, there will be separate queues for senior citizens and specially-abled persons facilitating them with early polling. Additionally, there will be a voter help desk, manned by the concerned Booth Level Officer (BLO).

There will be 20 polling booths managed by women (also called as pink polling stations), 18 polling booths manned by specially abled persons and 17 by youths. Also, there will be 21 green polling stations in order to spread message about environmental concern. The purpose behind these special polling station is to spread awareness among sections of society like women, specially abled, first time young voters to come forward and exercise their right to vote.

Aimed at to facilitate the voters in identification and increase voter turnout ratio, all voters have been provided with voter information slip with all requisite information 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. Hence, the voter Information Slips will not be allowed as proof of the identity of voters. 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.

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. EPIC card is not mandatory for voting. The requisite documents included  Aadhaar Card,   MGNREGA Job Card, Pass books with photograph, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of the Ministry of Labour, Driving License,  PANCard,  Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR,  Indian Passport, Pension document with photograph, Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/StateGovt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies, Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs and   Unique Disability ID (UDID) Card, issued by Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry.

With the aim of spreading awareness among the voters, Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) emerges as a comprehensive programme aimed at reinforcing voter education and promoting active participation in democratic process. During the last few months, through various modes, SVEEP activities were created in every nook and corner. Various activities like appeal messages in print, electronic and social media, through hoardings, banners, radio jingles etc were carried out. Street plays, use of social media influencers and icons was also done. Because of all these, the voter turnout is expected to be higher than the last Lok Sabha election. Awareness events in Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens, Lal Chowk, Shehar-E-Khas etc places in Srinagar and in similar other places of other Districts were held.

More than 40 % Home voting for above 85 age and disability was held at door steps for all those applied.
The document further read that more than 600 journalists and cameramen of print, electronic and social media platforms have been provided with pass to cover the polling process without compromising secrecy of vote and causing any inconvenience to the democratic exercise.

Besides, 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 turn out data of each phase of the elections will be displayed through this app. 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.

All polling stations in phase 4 will have CCTV camera for live webcasting to control rooms established at District and CEO office. There are few polling stations which falls in communication shadow areas. Suitable alternate arrangements by providing Satellite Phones, Wireless sets and Special Runners have been put in place in around few polling stations which fall in communication shadow areas.
Candidates/ Political parties need to obtain prior permission for campaigning purposes by seeking online permission on Suvidha app. Till date election officers have accorded permission for 1556 applications and rejected 271.

In the entire Union Territory, from the date of announcement of the election till date material/cash of around Rs 44.23 crore has been seized by various enforcing departments. Cash, liquor, drugs and other freebees have been seized by various enforcing departments like Police Department, valuing Rs 40.56 Crore, Income Tax Department valuing 32 lacs, Excise Department of around 85 lacs, and Narcotics Control Bureau has seized drugs worth 2.32 Crore.

As per the communication, the public campaigning in areas of Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency has concluded at 6PM here today on 11th of May, 48 hours before conduct of the elections. No one, including citizens, journalists, politicians, would be allowed to partake in any election campaign related activity. Holding public meetings, conferences, interviews has been stopped to give the voters a peaceful break from being influenced by campaigns so that they may make a considered decision while voting. Besides, political advertisement in print media can only be done only after prior clearance from Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC). Sale of liquor, even from the licensed shops, has also been banned. Till date, 108 grievances have been received on C-VIGIL app and more than 60 % resolved in time and other 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.

To monitor various election related activities and also check MCC compliance, a Command and Control Room has been established at CEO office, Jammu with similar mini control rooms at every DEO offices which are functioning 24 x 7. Apart from looking for MCC violation, the Control room gets live feed from more than 100% Polling Stations and GPS vehicle tracking of all vehicles being used for poll parties.
The Communication also adds that as per the latest instructions of Election Commission of India Special Polling Stations have been established for Migrant Voters of Kashmir Division. A total of 26 Special Polling Stations have been established with 21 polling stations in Jammu, 4 in Delhi and 1 in Udhampur District respectively. Special Polling Station-wise extract voter list will be with BLOs.
The communication also quotes, “We encourage the voters to participate in the maximum number in the biggest festival of the largest democracy of the world, reads the statement.(GNS)