ANI Photo | All preparations made to conduct free, fair LS Bye-Election in Jalandhar: Punjab Chief Electoral Officer

The Office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Punjab Sibin C made all necessary arrangements to ensure free, fair and peaceful Lok Sabha bye-elections in Jalandhar.
Briefing the media, Chief Electoral Officer, Sibin C informed that the election machinery is working round the clock to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections.
He said that there are as many as 16,21,759 electorates including 8,44,904 Males, 7,76,855 Females, 10,286 Persons with Disability, 1850 Service Electors, 73 Overseas Electors and 41 Transgender. There are 19 candidates in the fray including 15 Males and 4 Females.
He said that of the total 19 candidates, three are from National Parties, one from State Party, seven from Unrecognised Parties, and eight are Independent Candidates. He said that as many as five contesting candidates are with Criminal Antecedents.
Sibin C said that 1972 polling stations have been established and webcasting of all the polling stations is being done. He also informed that polling stations locations having more than three polling stations, which are in total of 166 in the Jalandhar parliamentary constituency will have additional cameras installed outside the polling location.
“542 vulnerable polling stations have been identified, 16 have been marked as critical and 30 Expenditure Sensitive Pockets have been identified,” he added.
Divulging more information, CEO Punjab said that as many as 4839 ballot units, 2927 Control Units and 2973 VVPATs are being used in this election. He further informed that there would be 45 Model Polling Stations and nine (one per AC) women-managed polling stations.
He said that Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) including Potable Water, Tent and Chairs, and at least one wheelchair at every polling station will be assured at every Polling Station. Besides this, every polling station will have COVID-19 material including Gloves, Sanitizer, Soap and Mask, while, Dustbin and Colour bags will be placed for disposal of COVID waste material. He said that food and refreshments will be provided to all the polling staff.
He added that a postal ballot facility was provided to 80 plus senior citizens, persons with disability and COVID patients to cast their vote from the convenience of their homes and 888 electors used their franchise through postal ballot.
Sibin C said that as many as 703 GPS-enabled vehicles are being used for the transportation of EVMs and 27 flying squad team (3 per AC) with web cameras are keeping round-the-clock vigil.
The CEO informed that 1083 complaints have been received on National Grievances Redressal Portal (NGRS) since the Model Code of Conduct came into force, of which 989 were disposed off, while, 94 are under process. He further informed that 1381 complaints were received on v-Vigil App and out of which 1142 were found correct and were resolved within the stipulated 100 minutes.
Giving the briefing about law and order, Sibin C said, “Police parties deployed across the parliamentary constituency have been conducting a thorough search to check the flow of liquor, narcotics and money to ensure free and fair elections.”
CEO Punjab also informed that Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regarding the last 48 hours come into force from 6 pm, May 8, 2023.
He also informed that in view of Polls, the Jalandhar district has been declared a dry day on dates from 6 pm on May 8, 2023, till the conclusion of polls on May 10, 2023, and there will be a complete ban on the sale of liquor during this period in the district.
He also informed that liquor vendors falling within a radius of 3KMs in the neighbouring districts have also been declared dry days during this period.
He said that there will be a ban on unlawful assemblies and a prohibition on holding public meetings during the silence period, applicable to the areas/constituencies bound for polls.
Meanwhile, as per the instructions of the Election Commission of India (ECI), the Punjab Government has announced a holiday in Jalandhar district on May 10, 2023, in view of the Lok Sabha Bye-Elections to facilitate the voters to exercise their franchise to vote.
As per the provisions of Section 135B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the employees of Industrial Establishments, Commercial Establishments, Shops and Establishments will have a paid holiday on the date of polling in Jalandhar on May 10, 2023.

This report is filed by ANI news service.

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