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Joint forum urges CEO to ensure adequate security for polling personnel

Joint forum urges CEO to ensure adequate security for polling personnel

Kolkata: A joint forum of state and Central government employees, public sector employees, teachers and non-teaching staff has written to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ariz Aftab on Wednesday, urging him to make adequate security arrangements for polling personnel on the days of election.

The forum, under the banner of 'United Movement of Workers, Employees and Teachers', requested the CEO to ensure a proper atmosphere in and around the polling stations, so that polling personnel and officials may discharge their duties without the fear of being intimidated.

In their letter, some of the government employees told the CEO that in a few previous incidents, the polling personnel were threatened. They urged the Election Commission to ensure that no polling persons feel frightened while performing their duties on the days of poll.

The forum also raised another issue with the Election Commission. They said that the polling officials are supposed to exercise their franchise either by Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system or through postal ballot, which they get well in advance to the date of poll. However, during the last Parliamentary polls in 2014, the Assembly polls in 2016 and also in the Panchayat polls in 2018, most of the officials received their ballots either immediately before the elections or after the date of election. Some others did not receive the ballots at all. As a result, a section of the election officials could not cast their votes in previous elections, the letter says.

The letter also points out that the forum members came to know from the postal department that the ballots were delivered to the addressees immediately after the postal department received them. The members of the forum urged the CEO to ensure that there is no recurrence of such incidents in the Lok Sabha polls.

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