Assam has 1.08 lakh D or doubtful voters who will not exercise their franchise in the voters forthcoming assembly polls to be held in three phases on March27, April one and April six, Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade said on Saturday. The figure of D-voters has decreased in comparison to the number of 1.13 lakh provided in the state assembly last year.
The Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora during his visit to the state in January had said that the names of those persons not figuring in the National Register of Citizens(NRC) but is there in the electoral roll can exercise their franchise. Doubtful voters are those persons who are identified during electoral roll revision as D-voters, cases of which are pending with the Foreigners Tribunals or declared as foreigners by the Tribunal.
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A total of 40 companies of Central Armed Paramilitary Force (CAPF) have been deployed and more were expected to be sent later before the actual date of polls, Khade said at a press conference here. A total electorate of 2,32,44,454 comprising 1,17,42,661 male, 1,14,43,259 female and 442 of the third gender, will exercise their franchise amidst tight COVID-19 protocols in 33,530 polling stations, he said. There are 5,325 Auxiliary polling stations which has been created additionally as not more than 1000 voters will be allowed in any particular polling stations due to the strict COVID protocols issued by the Election Commission of India, he said.
The state also has 62,134 service voters and eleven overseas electors, he said. There are 1,32,081 voters with disabilities, 2,90,677 voters who are above the age of 80 and 5,05,874 in the age group of 18-19 years. Khade said that all election officials and personnel will be treated as frontline workers and will be vaccinated from March one.
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COVID mitigation facilities like sanitisers, thermal scanners, soap and hand washing facilities will be a part of Assured Minimum Facilities in each polling stations across the state, he said.
On the day of the voting, a six feet distance between each voter while waiting to cast their vote must be maintained while each of them will be provided with plastic gloves for touching the EVMs, he said.
Arrangements have also been made for the disposal of COVID waste. Regarding COVID protocols to be maintained during campaigning by political parties and contesting candidates, the CEO said that for door-to-door campaign, a group of five persons, including candidates but excluding security personnel, will be permitted. For road shows, the convoy of vehicles should be broken after five vehicles and the interval between two sets of convoy should be half an hour, Khade said.
Meanwhile, 2029 grounds have been identified across the state for political meetings and rallies which will be allotted on a first come-first served basis. The facility of postal ballots has been extended to electors who are marked as persons with disabilities, those above the age of 80 and those employed in notified essential services. Voters who wish to use the postal ballots will have to apply within five days of notification of polls for their respective constituencies and the booth level officers will do the needful in this regard, Khade said.
Meanwhile, security forces have taken necessary measures to maintain law and order with the focus on booking history-sheeters, habitual offenders, seizure of illegal arms, illicit liquor, fake currency and cash. Over 6,200 cases under non-bailable warrants have been filed with action taken in 3171 cases so far. Altogether 22 inter-state coordination meeting and 39 inter-agency coordination meeting for security purposes have been held so far.
Khade said that the priority of the election team in the state was to ensure that no voter was influenced by money muscle and liquor power and they were committed to a free,fair and safe polls in the state.