Too many polling centres put candidates in a fix

There are as many as 1,330 polling booths for 128 wards (64 panels) in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation while for 152 wards in PMC election,2,996 polling booths have been set up. A panel has a minimum of 1 or 4 polling centres and a maximum of 12-20 polling centres.

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune | Published:February 16, 2012 4:22 am

There are as many as 1,330 polling booths for 128 wards (64 panels) in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation while for 152 wards in PMC election,2,996 polling booths have been set up. A panel has a minimum of 1 or 4 polling centres and a maximum of 12-20 polling centres. And this has put candidates in a fix,especially women contestants,as they are “finding it difficult to get so many polling agents and workers for duty on the polling day.”

Every candidate has got 100-150 political workers “on duty” on the polling day. Some will serve as polling agents,some will be at the gates,some will distrubute voting slips and many would be either “taking voters” to polling stations or busy coaxing them to vote. There are 1,542 candidates for PMC and 882 candidates for PCMC. Collectively,it means over 2 lakh political workers would be “on duty” in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

In Pimple Gurav,the biggest panel with 33,206 voters,NCP candidate Rajendra Jagtap says there are as many as 12 polling centres in his panel. “At each centre,I can spend not more than 10-15 minutes. That’s why I have appointed around 200 political workers to help me out. The increase in polling centre has increased our problems,” he said.

Anita Landge,who is contesting from open category ward in Kasarwadi says,“Where do I find over 50 political workers? The Election Commission has indeed made life difficult for women candidates. During campaigning,I moved around on foot. Now I need a two-wheeler to move around the area which is so vast.”

In all past elections,civic schools in Kasarwadi was the only one polling centre.

This time,there are six polling centres and 22 polling booths at different places in Kasarwadi. He husband Prakash Landge says,“We have set up a central room at my residence from where we will keep a tab on the happenings through updates from our workers.”

In Panel 26 Pradhikaran-Akurdi,Ikas Sayyed,election manager for NCP corporator Javed Shaikh says they have 75 political workers for four polling centres.

Pune city Congress president Abhay Chhajed said,“In last elections,there were only three polling centres. And in this election,we have 6-7 polling centres in my Panel No 66. This has put a huge burden on our workers,” he said. Shiv Sena city chief Shyam Deshpande said,“I have nearly 49 polling booths for which I require nearly 200 workers. It’s a big task.”

Election ,however,said the move is aimed at increasing the voting percentage which always swirls around 50-55 per cent in civic elections. “Increase in centres has made it easy for voters,” said PCMC chief Asheesh Sharma.

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