BLOs to ensure 100 pc distribution of voter slips 5-7 days before polling

Poll body’s series of steps for good turnout

*CAPFs, JKP to further intensify patrolling

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Apr 13: With a view to ensure healthy turnout in the Parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the Election Authorities have asked all Booth Level Officers (BLOs) to ensure 100 percent distribution of voter slips to the electorates five to seven days ahead of the voting while Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Jammu and Kashmir Police will be undertaking flag marches, intensifying regular patrolling including during the night and strengthen nakas to boost confidence among the people.

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“All BLOs have been asked to ensure 100 percent distribution of voter slips to the electorates five to seven days before the date of polling. This will help the voters to track their Polling Stations and serial numbers in the lists quite easily,” official sources told the Excelsior.
The voter slips will be useful even if the electorates have lost their voter cards, they said.
As per the officials, the step is aimed at ensuring good voter turnout as the people with voter slips will directly approach their Polling Stations. Their names will be registered there and they won’t have to wait for search. This will lead to easy voting and there will be no wastage of timing.
With voter slips in the hands of electorates well in advance, they can also look for their Polling Station before the day of voting, they said.
This was one among the series of measures taken by the Election Commission to ensure good turnout in the Parliamentary polls.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J&K PK Pole has been monitoring all such arrangements in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which has five Parliamentary constituencies including Udhampur-Doda, Jammu-Reasi, Anantnag-Poonch-Rajouri, Srinagar and Baramulla.
With a view to ensure confidence among the people prior to voting, the CAPFs and JKP will be further stepping up regular patrolling, flag marches, strengthening nakas and conducting search operations in vulnerable areas to keep the anti-national and anti-social elements at a bay.
This, according to sources, will boost morale of the electorates and they will turn out in good numbers to cast their votes.
Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary seat will go to polls in Phase-I on April 19 followed by Jammu-Reasi on April 26. Anantnag-Poonch-Rajouri constituency will have polling on May 7 in Phase-III while Srinagar will go to votes in the fourth phase on May 13 and Baramulla in the fifth phase on May 20.
Generally, Jammu and Udhampur Parliamentary segments witness good turnout. Baramulla constituency too has been recording reasonably well voting percentage. However, the problem of low turnout persists in Anantnag and Srinagar seats.
This time, Anantnag constituency may see healthy turnout as entire Poonch district and major areas of Rajouri district have been added to South Kashmir segments. The twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch always account for heavy turnout in all kind of elections.
The reasons for low turnout in other States and Union Territories and Jammu and Kashmir are quite different. While Jammu and Udhampur Parliamentary seats in Jammu division always witness good turnout, the problem of low voting percentage is confined to the Kashmir valley. However, Panchayat, Municipal and District Development Council elections saw huge turnout in the Valley and this time the Election Authorities and the administration are expecting good polling in Kashmir because of improved security scenario.
Moreover, this is the first Parliamentary poll in Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India that granted special status to the erstwhile State and its bifurcation into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.