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1 lakh staff on the ground, 13,665 booths: Stage set for high-stakes MCD polls

Polls for the 250 MCD wards will be held from 8 am to 5.30 pm. Votes will be counted on December 7 and the results will also be announced on the same day.

A worker sets up a polling station at a school in Trilokpuri, New Delhi, a day before polling for the MCD elections, on Saturday. (Eexpress photo by Praveen Khanna)

Deploying nearly 1 lakh staff across 13,665 (approx) polling stations, the State Election Commission of Delhi has made elaborate arrangements for the high-stakes MCD election on Sunday. Polls for the 250 MCD wards will be held from 8 am to 5.30 pm. Votes will be counted on December 7 and the results will be announced on the same day.

According to officials, 1.46 crore voters are eligible to cast their vote. “A total of 68 model polling station and 68 pink stations have been set up across all constituencies. Arrangements for deployment of security forces has been done. The commission has made elaborate arrangements for a safe, secure and pleasant voting experience,” said State Election Commissioner Vijay Dev.

The Commission has also deployed 493 micro-observers at sensitive/hyper-sensitive polling locations. They will remain stationed at these locations throughout the poll day and keep a close watch on proceedings at the booths. The Commission has also issued instructions for web casting at these sensitive/hyper-sensitive polling locations.

The Commission has issued instructions to ensure that as far as practicable, all polling stations are located on the ground floor and sturdy ramps are in place for the convenience of differently abled voters. Officials said the commission has also upgraded the status of facilities at the polling stations from the earlier concept of Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) to Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF).

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“Instructions have been issued to the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and other agencies concerned to ensure that every polling station is equipped with Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) like drinking water, a shed, toilet, ramp for physically challenged voters, a standard voting compartment etc, for the convenience and facilitation of vote,” said officials.

Further, the commission will be using M-2 model of ECIL-make EVMs. “Arrangements have been made to ensure availability of adequate number of EVMs for the smooth conduct of election. A first level check with respect to all 55,389 EVMs has already been completed by the Commission with the help of ECIL,” they added.

Officials said a mock poll will be conducted on Sunday by presiding officers at each polling station before the commencement of actual polling in the presence of the polling agents appointed by the contesting candidates. A certificate of successful conduct of the mock poll will be made by the presiding officer concerned in each case.

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Further, to help voters in identifying candidates, the commission has decided to print photographs of the candidates on the ballot paper that will be displayed on the EVM (Ballot Unit). “This will also help avoid likely confusion when candidates with same or similar names contest from the same ward,” they said.

Delhi Police has also made elaborate arrangements for law and order. About 40,000 Delhi Police personnel, 20,000 home guards and 108 companies of CAPF and SAP will be deployed across all polling stations and booths, said a senior official.

This will be first election after the MCD was reunified earlier this year. Earlier, the corporation was divided into three – South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), North Delhi Municipal Corporation (North MCD) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).

First published on: 03-12-2022 at 20:11 IST
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