Voter’s Slip not mandatory on polling day, says CEO
Kohima, May 26: Nagaland election secretariat is fully geared for the peaceful conduct of the bye-poll to the lone seat of Lok Sabha.
Addressing media-persons at the Commissioner’s office here this evening, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nagaland Abhijit Sinha said that a total of 11,97,436 electorates, comprising of 6,07,589 male and 5,89,847 females voters would be exercising their franchise on May 28 throughout the State.
The bye-poll is a straight contest between ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) candidate Tokheho Yepthomi and opposition NPF nominee C Apok Jamir.
The Lok Sabha Bye-poll for the lone Nagaland Parliamentary Constituency was necessitated following the resignation of then MP Neiphiu Rio’s resignation to contest the State Assembly election in February. He is presently the Chief Minister of the State.
The CEO said that the State has 2196 polling stations, out of which 260 are declared as critical and 211 as vulnerable, while rest are normal polling stations.
He said that with Polling Station No. 1 Ladigarh in Longleng district reportedly falling under Disturbed Area Belt between Assam and Nagaland while a border dispute case is in the Supreme Court, the electorates of the PS would be casting their vote in a make shift arrangement.
Voting in 1855 polling stations will start at 7AM and end at 4PM while in 309 booths it was end an hour ahead, he said, adding that altogether 253 PS will have all women polling teams while two PS under Wokha district will be manned by only differently abled polling personnel.
He said that 225 polling stations will have live web screening while 257 will have offline videography.
The CEO said that polling station with the highest electorate is PS No. 58 under 4-Ghaspani-I Assembly Constituency while Kiuro village in 60-Pungro-Kiphire A/C has the lowest voter at 33.
He said that altogether 3196 EVMs and 3075 VVPAT machines have been dispatched for all the polling stations.
The CEO informed that two each general observer and expenditure observer and one police observer have been deputed by the Election Commission while 11 more would be reaching tomorrow to oversee the conduct of the bye-poll on Monday.
Beside the District Executive Force (DEF) personnel, a total of 40 companies of Central Armed Police Forces along with 80 companies of Nagaland Armed Police, 770 Home Guards and 2600 village guards, he said.
Maintaining that all arrangements have been put in place for the May 28 bye-poll, the CEO appealed to the electorates of the State to come out and vote in an ethical manner without taking any inducement. He also wished that the election officials would be able to conduct the polls freely and fairly.
Meanwhile, Nagaland Commissioner and Returning Officer, M Patton said that the overall law and order situation in the State is normal and congenial for the conduct of the polls.
He said that during the campaign period the RO’s office received complaints from both the parties supporting both the candidates, however as required the matter has been forwarded to the police and investigations on the acquisitions are in progress.
He also said that complaint was received on allegations of monetary incentive assurance given by Minister for Urban Development, Metsubo Jamir in support of PDA candidate Tokheho Yepthomi. A show cause notice was served to the Minister, which was denied upon by him in a written reply.
Patton also said that complaint was also lodged against NPF candidate Jamir donating Mithung to a certain community in Dimapur. The matter was taken up through the Commissioner of Police Dimapur and though nothing has been received officially but Jamir has denied charges in the local dailies, he said.
He said that during the campaigning period, various forces have seized Rs 84,000 cash and 8829 litres of liquor till yesterday.
The RO also informed that campaigning in every form for the bye-poll has come to end at 4PM today.
Polling will be held on May 28 while counting of vote will be taken up on May 31 across 13 centres including 11 district headquarters, Pughoboto election district and Commissioner’s office, the CEO informed, adding that the result will be declared by the Returning Officer in Kohima after compiling the entire votes.
Meanwhile, the CEO also informed that Voter’s Slip, which is being distributed by the Booth Level Officers is not mandatory on the polling day. He said that even if one does not get the Voter’s Sleep, the Election Commission has already notified list of other documents to prove the identity of the electorate while more than 95% of the electorates have been covered with EPIC, which could be the best proof of one’s identity on the polling day.
4 injured in accident
Meanwhile, the RO Patton informed that a vehicle (gypsy) requisitioned by police to escort the polling party met with an accident near Kuthur village under Shamatore sub-division in Tuensang district today. The driver and three police though suffered minor injuries but are reportedly out of danger, he informed.
In another incident, a vehicle ferrying polling officials under 40-Bhandari A/C met with accident but not casualty has been reported, he informed. (Page News Service)