Millennium Post

Over one lakh security personnel deployed for Punjab polls today

Over one lakh security personnel  deployed for Punjab polls today
All the arrangements are complete for the conduct of the Punjab assembly polls on 117 seats on Saturday with "unprecedented" security arrangements being made for the smooth and peaceful elections.

Punjab Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) V K Bhawra said "unprecedented" security arrangements have been made for the polls as compared to arrangements made in previous elections.

"Around one lakh security personnel including paramilitary forces have been deployed in these elections," said Bhawra who is also the nodal officer for state polls.

Unlike previous polls, police check posts continued to stay at several locations before the 48 hours of the polls on the directions of the Election Commission, he said.

With Punjab set to witness a three-horse poll race, the Election Commission has set a target to achieve 85 per cent polling during 2017 assembly polls.

"The election machinery is ready for the February 4 polls," Punjab Chief Electoral Officer V K Singh said while addressing media here this evening.

He informed that voting would start at 8 AM and would go on till 5 PM for the 117 assembly constituencies.

As many as 22,614 polling stations including 14 auxiliary polling stations have been set up at 14,177 polling locations in the state, the CEO said.

Asked about the vulnerable polling stations, Singh said there are 5,500 vulnerable stations and around 800 are critical polling stations in the state.

A total of 1.98 crore voters are eligible for voting comprising 93.76 lakh women and 415 third gender. There are 4.05 lakh first time voters of 18-19 years of age, he said.

There are 364 NRI voters in the state. Besides, there are 1.05 lakh service voters in the state, he said, adding there are 65.36 lakh are urban voters while 1.33 crore are rural ones in the state.

Singh said, "There are 1,145 candidates including 81 women in the fray for the elections."

On Amritsar Lok Sabha by-election seat, nine candidates are trying their luck. There are 13.80 lakh voters in the Lok Sabha seat. .

The Punjab CEO said voters would have to carry their voter card to exercise the franchise.

In case, someone has lost his voter card, then he could carry copy of one of the documents which are driving license, ID card issued by government department, pass book of nationalised bank, PAN card, Nrega card, Aadhaar card, voter slip authenticated by BLO, to exercise his franchise, he said.

To a query, Singh made it clear that it was prohibited to transport voter to a polling booth.

AAP to deploy over15,000volunteers with spy cameras

Aap Aadmi Party (AAP), which is eyeing to wrest power in Punjab, will deploy 15,000 volunteers equipped with spy cameras outside the polling stations in the state on Saturday to keep a "close watch on distribution of liquor or cash to lure voters".

Besides, AAP's national Convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will stay put here to keep a "tab" on the polling so as to "check any illegal activity" during the high-stakes Assembly election.

"We will deploy 15,000 volunteers outside the polling stations in the state. They will be equipped with spy cameras, button hole cameras and key chain cameras to keep a check on any illegal activity going on to influence voters," a party leader said on Friday.

They will check whether any voter is being "induced by liquor or cash by political opponents", he said.

"As soon as such activity comes to light, the team stationed at Chandigarh will immediately point out the illegal activity to the Election Commission for prompt action," the leader said.

He said the volunteers have been given training for last 15-20 days to operate spy cameras.

AAP had done the similar tactic during Delhi polls and claimed to have seen "good results with seizure of cash and liquor".

The AAP leader said Kehriwal's presence here "will be a moral support for the party candidates".

AAP is locked in a three-cornered poll contest in Punjab, which is going to polls for 117 assembly seats on Saturday, against Congress and SAD-BJP combine.
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