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EC changes categorisation of polling stations for LS polls

By STAFF CORRESPONDENT
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JORHAT, March 5 - The Election Commission of India has changed the categorisation of sensitive and very sensitive polling stations to �critical� and �vulnerable� for the ensuing parliamentary election.

Addressing mediapersons at the DC�s Conference Hall here on Monday evening, Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni A Korati, who is also the Returning Officer for the Jorhat Lok Sabha seat, said that the critical criteria would be determined by remoteness, low network coverage, occurrence of past incidents of violence or clashes as was done for the sensitive and very sensitive categories.

Korati said that in addition to these criterion, another component would be taken into consideration for declaring a polling station as critical.

She said that if there was very high polling, 90 per cent and above, and/or one candidate having received more than 75 per cent of votes in the last polls held in the State, then it would be considered as another criteria for declaring a polling station as critical.

For declaring a polling station as vulnerable, there is only one condition and it was that the administration has to assess whether there was a community/group at risk of intimidation or threat from a larger group or community,

It may be mentioned here that the Jorhat Lok Sabha constituency comprises 10 Legislative Assembly constituencies spread over three districts, namely Jorhat, Sivasagar and Charaideo.

Korati further said that this time VVPATs (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) machines would be installed in all the polling stations.

In the 2016 elections, a few polling stations had the VVPAT facility. With this facility, the voter has the right to apply for a revision if he or she suspects that the VVPAT does not show the candidate he or she has voted for, Korati stated.

However, if the charge is found to be false, then the administration has a right to take legal action against the complainant, which has a penal provision, i.e., the complainant may be jailed for a period which could be up to six months, the Deputy Commissioner cautioned.

The voter can see the paper through a covered window in the machine for a few seconds before it drops down to the box below. She said that the total number of polling stations declared critical or vulnerable under Jorhat Lok Sabha constituency will be available within the next few days.

Korati further informed about the Android-based App launched by the Election Commission of India, by which a person can secretly send videos and photos of any attempt by political party or any person trying to induce voters by illegal means like distributing cash or any other material or giving an inflammatory speech during the run-up to the polls.

She said that the unique Internet-based beta version of the application is called CVIGIL, which stands for �citizens� vigil�. The App which can be downloaded from Google playstore will work only during the time the model code of conduct (MCC) is in place.

Korati said that the GPS-tagged smartphone through which the clipping or recording would be sent would be located and within 100 minutes the matter would have to be disposed of by the district election officer by investigating through flying squads or by other investigative teams and the complainant duly intimated.

In order to mobilise voters, actress Geetawali Rajkumari had been selected as district election icon for Jorhat, the Deputy Commissioner said.

She further said that college ambassadors would also be selected in major colleges to influence and mobilise young and first-time voters to exercise their franchise.

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EC changes categorisation of polling stations for LS polls

JORHAT, March 5 - The Election Commission of India has changed the categorisation of sensitive and very sensitive polling stations to �critical� and �vulnerable� for the ensuing parliamentary election.

Addressing mediapersons at the DC�s Conference Hall here on Monday evening, Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni A Korati, who is also the Returning Officer for the Jorhat Lok Sabha seat, said that the critical criteria would be determined by remoteness, low network coverage, occurrence of past incidents of violence or clashes as was done for the sensitive and very sensitive categories.

Korati said that in addition to these criterion, another component would be taken into consideration for declaring a polling station as critical.

She said that if there was very high polling, 90 per cent and above, and/or one candidate having received more than 75 per cent of votes in the last polls held in the State, then it would be considered as another criteria for declaring a polling station as critical.

For declaring a polling station as vulnerable, there is only one condition and it was that the administration has to assess whether there was a community/group at risk of intimidation or threat from a larger group or community,

It may be mentioned here that the Jorhat Lok Sabha constituency comprises 10 Legislative Assembly constituencies spread over three districts, namely Jorhat, Sivasagar and Charaideo.

Korati further said that this time VVPATs (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) machines would be installed in all the polling stations.

In the 2016 elections, a few polling stations had the VVPAT facility. With this facility, the voter has the right to apply for a revision if he or she suspects that the VVPAT does not show the candidate he or she has voted for, Korati stated.

However, if the charge is found to be false, then the administration has a right to take legal action against the complainant, which has a penal provision, i.e., the complainant may be jailed for a period which could be up to six months, the Deputy Commissioner cautioned.

The voter can see the paper through a covered window in the machine for a few seconds before it drops down to the box below. She said that the total number of polling stations declared critical or vulnerable under Jorhat Lok Sabha constituency will be available within the next few days.

Korati further informed about the Android-based App launched by the Election Commission of India, by which a person can secretly send videos and photos of any attempt by political party or any person trying to induce voters by illegal means like distributing cash or any other material or giving an inflammatory speech during the run-up to the polls.

She said that the unique Internet-based beta version of the application is called CVIGIL, which stands for �citizens� vigil�. The App which can be downloaded from Google playstore will work only during the time the model code of conduct (MCC) is in place.

Korati said that the GPS-tagged smartphone through which the clipping or recording would be sent would be located and within 100 minutes the matter would have to be disposed of by the district election officer by investigating through flying squads or by other investigative teams and the complainant duly intimated.

In order to mobilise voters, actress Geetawali Rajkumari had been selected as district election icon for Jorhat, the Deputy Commissioner said.

She further said that college ambassadors would also be selected in major colleges to influence and mobilise young and first-time voters to exercise their franchise.