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Elections

In a first, CEO Sibin C holds Facebook live interaction with Punjab voters

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | April 19, 2024 05:31 PM

CHANDIGARH: In a first-of-its-kind initiative to sensitize voters and gather their suggestions to make the electoral process more efficient and transparent in the Lok Sabha elections 2024, Chief Electoral Officer Sibin C held a Facebook live session, 'Talk to your CEO Punjab, ' with the people of Punjab on Friday.

During the interaction session, the CEO addressed various queries from voters and also urged them to actively participate in voting to achieve the goal of 'Iss Vaar 70 Paar, ' while also appealing them to report any Model Code of Violation to the commission.

He said that a target has been set to achieve a voter turnout of more than 70 percent, as Punjab's voting percentage during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was 65.96 percent. Sibin C also said that young voters can apply with ECI to make their vote until May 4, 2024.

The CEO informed that over 1600 complaints of MCC violations have been received by the office of CEO so far and all have been settled. Similarly, the commission received 1059 complaints on the C-vigil app, of which 733 have been verified, and 689 were settled within 100 minutes, as per the directions of the ECI. He appealed to people to report violations through the C-vigil app, the 1950 toll-free number and the National Grievance Service Portal (NGSP) of the ECI.

In response to a query regarding heat waves during polling in Punjab, the CEO said that special consideration is being given to this, and voters exercising their franchise will be offered sweetened water (Chabeel) in polling stations to provide relief from the scorching heat.

He further added that each polling station will have water coolers, fans, sitting arrangements, and sheds to provide relief to voters from the heat. A chair will be provided if more than 10 people are in the voting queue. Sibin C also said that a special crutch room for children, separate lines for the elderly and pregnant women and at least one wheelchair at each polling station will be ensured, while medical kits will also be available with polling staff.

Regarding a query about depositing weapons, Sibin C said that it is not compulsory for everyone, and people can get exemption after informing the reason for keeping the weapon to the Deputy Commissioner of their concerned district, as a committee has already been constituted in each district to review such cases.

Addressing another social media query, the CEO said that there is a special provision for female staff to be deputed on election duty near their house. He further stated that the list of BLOs is available online on the CEO website.

Regarding the facility of online voting, the CEO informed voters that such a facility has not yet been offered by the Election Commission of India and even about 1600 registered NRI voters will have to visit their respective polling stations to cast their votes. He said that voters without voter cards can use 12 alternate documents, including the Aadhar card, PAN card, driving license, MGNREGA job card, for voting.

On security arrangements, the CEO informed that special attention is being paid to border areas and identified sensitive polling areas in the state. Sibin C also said that apart from Punjab police, 25 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in Punjab and additional deployment will be made as per the requirements.

He said that there will be 100 percent webcasting of polling stations in the state during voting for the Lok Sabha polls on June 1. Sibin C further said that flying squad vehicles and static surveillance teams are monitoring violations, if any, of the model code of conduct during the election process.

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