Leh In J-K Gears Up For Assembly Polls

4 November 2008

Leh: Jammu and Kashmir’s Leh District is gearing up for assembly polls to be held from November 17 to December 24 by reviewing security and other essential arrangements for free and fair elections in the state. About 129 government authorities and locals are being trained for the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). Mohan Lal, Returning Officer, responsible for overseeing elections briefed media about all necessary arrangements made for the upcoming polls.“Firstly we have collected all election materials from the election department. We have received sufficient number of EVM’’s (Electronic Voting machines) as per our requirement. Apart form these we have also completed training of the government employees as well of the general public about the EVMs, said Lal. The poling staff has also been identified and we have prepared a detailed transport plan that would be required for taking the polling staffs from the district headquarter to the polling booths,” added Lal. The EVMs were first used in the state for the assembly elections in 2002. Garib Dass, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) said that appropriate security arrangements have been made to conduct incident-free elections in the district. “We will try our best to implement all legal instruments during the elections in our district, including the model code of conduct, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Representation Act and other preventive measures to create confidence among the general public so that the election here would take place peacefully and in a hassle-free manner,” said Dass. Mandatory identification of electors during voting would be carried out through Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC). The seven-phase poll will begin from November 17 and end on December 24 to replace the Governor’s rule imposed after a Congress party-led coalition government fell in July over the Amarnath shrine land transfer row. Leh, Kargil and Bandipora regions that receive heavy snowfall during the winter season have been included in the first phase of elections.