Witnessing a huge shortfall of staff for the upcoming Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls, the State Election Commission (SEC) has written to the MCD to make arrangements for 1,200 more staff members/presiding officers comprising teaching, non-teaching and other government staff for smooth conduct of the elections.
In a letter to the MCD commissioner, the SEC secretary wrote, “It was requested to provide the details of 7,500 polling parties for the ensuing MCD elections to be conducted on December 4. It was informed that the MCD shall provide 5,000 polling parties. However, as per data uploaded by your corporation on SEC portal, there are 2,361 presiding officers and 12,746 polling officers which is far below that of the assured 5,000 polling parties (5,000 presiding officers and 15,000 polling officers).”
Officials said that during the first training of the polling staff conducted by the returning officers, a large shortfall of staff was informed to the commission. “This absenteeism has been caused due to the inclusion of the names of persons retired/handicapped/on maternity leave/medical leave and due to duplicate names of officials provided by nodal officers of the corporation,” said an official.
The SEC has directed all returning officers to provide additional staff by the second round of the meeting to meet the requirements, officials added.
“In the current circumstances, the commission is not in a position to meet this huge shortfall of polling staff at its own level. Therefore, before commencement of the second round of training, the polling parties are required to be provided to the returning officers for finalisation… for smooth conduct of the elections. No availability of such parties may severely hamper the elections. Provide at least 1,200 polling staff,” the letter read.
The MCD elections are scheduled to be held on December 4 and results will be declared on December 7.