For 2022 Punjab assembly elections, the state poll panel has decided to set up as many as 24,689 polling booths in the State, a rise from existing number of 23,211, after rationalization and due to continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
Announcing this during an informal interaction with the media, the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Dr S Karuna Raju on Tuesday said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the limit of voters falling in a polling booth has been reduced from existing 1,400 to 1,200 which has led to an enhancement in the number of polling booths across the State.
Dr Raju said that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has given its concurrence to arrange additional EVMs (electronic voting machines) required for the ensuing Assembly Election in Punjab. “10,500 Control Units (CU) and 21,100 VVPATs are being transported from different districts of Madhya Pradesh to various districts of Punjab,” he said, adding that with the addition of these machines, the office of Punjab CEO will have 45,316 Ballot Units (BU), 34,942 Controlling Units (CU) and 37,576 VVPAT machines.
The Chief Electoral Officer asserted that the EVMs are being transported duly adopting the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) set by the ECI. “District-wise nodal officers are picking up these machines from Madhaya Pradesh in GPS-fitted special transport containers under tight security after proper scanning,” he said.
He said that in 10 districts of Punjab — Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Mansa, and Amritsar, the EVM-VVPAT have safely reached the district headquarters and in rest of the districts, these machines will be reached within two days.
“The first level checking (FLC) of these machines will be undertaken in the presence of representatives of Recognised National and state political parties in prescribed time as per the stipulated SOP. Warehouses have been set up across the State in which multi-tier security arrangements have been made along with installation of the CCTV cameras,” said Dr Raju.
He said that amidst the prevailing pandemic, precautions are also being implemented strictly. All efforts are being made to ensure smooth, transparent, peaceful and hassle free elections in the state, he added.
BJP’S STATE EXECUTIVE MEMBER JOINS BSP
Mukerian: In a big blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Punjab, its state executive member and Ropar district in-charge Sushil Sharma on Tuesday joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the presence of its state unit president Jasvir Singh Garhi.
Welcoming Sharma in the BSP fold, Garhi said that all religions are respected in BSP and it is because of party’s ‘Sarvajan Hitay Sarvajan Sukhay’ policy that every section of Punjab is joining the party and laying the foundation of strong SAD-BSP government for the all-round development of Punjab.
He took a dig at the state BJP leadership saying that it was making every tom dick and harry join the party while claiming him to be a BSP worker and taking pride in that. “The joining of Sharma is the BSP’s answer to all those BJP leaders who have been trying to break into the BSP,” said Garhi.
At the same time, he claimed that some more BJP leaders are also in touch with the BSP. “We are testing these BJP leaders as per BSP’s policies, and if they succeed, they will be included in the BSP after which the BJP would be totally extinct from the state,” he added.
AAP APPOINTS 18 MORE CONSTITUENCY IN-CHARGES
Chandigarh: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab has released a list of 18 constituency in-charges to strengthen the party at the constituency level. Earlier, the party had appointed another 47 constituency in-charges.
As per the list signed by AAP’s Punjab unit president Bhagwant Mann and Punjab affairs in-charge Jarnail Singh, Harjot Singh Bains has been appointed in-charge for Sri Anandpur Sahib constituency, Kulwant Singh Sidhu for Atam Nagar, Santosh Kataria for Balachaur, Amandeep Singh (Goldy) Musafir for Balluana, Rupinder Singh Happy for Bassi Pathana, Jagroop Singh Gill for Bathinda Urban, Ranjit Singh Rana for Bholath, Shamsher Singh for Dina Nagar, Ranveer Singh Bhullar for Ferozepur Urban, Ashu Bangar for Ferozepur Rural, Surinder Singh Sodhi for Jalandhar Cantt, Manju Rana for Kapurthala, Tarunpreet Singh Sondh for Khanna, Dr Mohammad Jameel Ur Rehman for Malerkotla, Prof Gurdhian Singh Multani for Mukerian, Lalit Mohan (Ballu) Pathak for Nawanshahr, Jagroop Singh Sekhwan for Qadian, and Dr Kashmir Singh Sohal for Tarn Taran.