D-day is finally here for 22 candidates of Ludhiana constituency, and a total of 15.59 voters will exercise their franchise on Wednesday to choose their next Member of Parliament.
Weather is all set to play a major role in polling as the Met department has predicted 42 degree Celsius maximum temperature while minimum can be around 25 degrees Celsius. A handful of voters are going to avail VIP treatment as the Election Commission has set up 24 model booths and two super model booths in the constituency.
From drinking water, queue management volunteers, waiting room and executive class interior decor, each constituency’s Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) has been handed over responsibility to arrange some luxurious facilities for voters. The two super model booths have been set up in Ludhiana (Central) where red carpet will be laid out to welcome the voters. Also, the interiors of the booth at Ramgharia Senior High School, Miller Ganj, have been done in complete blue and white to attract voters.
Talking to Newsline, ARO (Central) Kuldip Singh Vaid said, “We have arranged volunteers to serve chilled water. Also, there is a waiting room provision for senior citizens and pregnant women. Our volunteers will be wearing special jackets with ‘May I Help You’ tag and they will do proper queue management. Volunteers will be standing at the gate to welcome and escort the voters. Also, like model booths, clean toilets, running water and proper shade have been arranged.”
All model booths, minimum two in each constituency, will be providing sitting space for old and pregnant women, volunteers to serve water, queue management and escorts for blind, disabled and old age. Also, keeping in mind the rising mercury, all have been directed by the Deputy Commissioner to arrange for sheds.
Some AROs are providing extra facilities too. ARO (Ludhiana East) Sumeet Jarangal said that “model booths in his area have been decorated with plants and flowers at the entrance”.
Interestingly, the volunteers are not paid and local youth has been involved by the election office to help out in assisting the voters. ARO (North) Anil Kumar Garg said, “Volunteers will arrange separate queues for male and female, and pregnant women will be given preference. Also, we have put signboards of ‘in’ and ‘exit’ directions. A wheelchair has been placed at the ramp for any voter who is not able to walk and a nurse will be on duty to ensure first aid.”