Delimitation muddles process: Too many wards,too many symbols

With wardbandi (delimitation) being introduced for the July 3 panchayat elections in Punjab,those supposed to print ballot papers for the polls are in for a tough time. The reason being that different combination of symbols for each ward is leading to confusion.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Chandigarh | Updated: April 9, 2014 6:11 pm

With wardbandi (delimitation) being introduced for the July 3 panchayat elections in Punjab,those supposed to print ballot papers for the polls are in for a tough time. The reason being that different combination of symbols for each ward is leading to confusion.

While polling parties are supposed to be dispatched on July 2 for the elections to be held the next day,till Monday evening,returning officers (ROs) were yet to receive ballot papers.

According to wardbandi,every village has a minimum of five wards and a maximum of eight wards. While the number of candidates in every ward is different,ballot papers must carry the symbols of all. Thus,in a village with five wards,five types of ballot papers have to be printed displaying symbols of wardwise candidates.

Earlier,for an entire village,only one kind of ballot paper was printed,which used to carry all the symbols of all candidates. “Now with one village having several wards,ward specific ballot papers have to be printed. For instance,if a ward has three candidates and 35 voters,then 35 (plus 10 more for emergency) ballot papers have to be printed. For the other wards in the same village,separate ballot papers have to be printed for candidates according the symbols allotted to them,” said a district electoral officer.

“We will not be able to get ballot papers before midnight,” said an RO in Jalandhar.

When contacted,Jalandhar Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum-Additional District Electoral officer Harminder Singh said: “Due to wardbandi,there is some confusion. But we have provided wardwise dummies of ballot papers to the printers and mentioned the ward number along with number of ballot papers required to be published.”

Asked when will the ROs receive the ballot papers,Singh said: “They will get it by today evening.”

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