Gangtok, 22 Jan:
The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer has begun preparations for Elections 2019 in earnest and is keeping busy prepping for the event.
“We have started preparations for Election 2019 systematically in phase-wise manner and have begun with the rationalization of polling stations. The total number of polling stations this time will be 567, an increase of 18 polling stations,” informs Chief Electoral Officer, Sikkim, R Telang.
Speaking to SummitTimes, he explained that the Election Department has completed the rationalization of polling stations and followed it up with the revision of the voter list and the final list of voters will be published on 31 January. The left out eligible voters can, however, add their names to the list through a special provision.
The Election Department has also been organizing a series of trainings and awareness programmes at schools, gram panchayat wards and polling stations on EVMs and VVPAT, he adds.
He further said that besides the training, District Collectors have also initiated the manpower planning required for the approaching elections, which includes planning on how many polling parties are required, vehicles required and the budget expenses.
He also informed that the Election Commission of India, at a video conference, directed the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police to review the preparation in the State and take stock of the law and order arrangements and subjects like the requirement of the central police forces during the elections.
“Sikkim has the reputation of conducting fair and peaceful elections and we are 100% confident of maintaining this reputation with the cooperation and support of all political parties and the people of Sikkim,” said Mr Telang.
The Chief Electoral Officer, Sikkim, also appealed to the people not to believe in rumors regarding the elections and seek information from authentic sources by calling the toll free help line number “1950” of the Election Commission which will be launched in the state on 25 January.