GOALPARA, April 3 - With barely three weeks left for the third phase polling of the general elections scheduled on April 23, campaigning by various political parties has remained low key in the district. It may be mentioned that there are four Assembly constituencies in the district and 36 Dudhnoi (ST) falls in Gauhati Lok Sabha constituency while the other three namely 37 Goalpara (East), 38 Goalpara (West) and 39 Jaleswar fall in Dhubri constituency.
No posters or banners have been found till now on the walls across the town. Campaigning by the candidates has yet to gather any steam as all the political parties have restricted their campaigns in the minority-dominated areas in the district and have only gradually started to reach out to voters of these areas. Many of the candidates in the fray are keeping their tour programmes secret till the eleventh hour as a part of their political strategy.
Meanwhile, talking to this correspondent the District Election Officer (DEO) and also the Deputy Commissioner Varnali Deka said that she is collecting feedback on poll-related violations from the ground level in a bid to ensure free and fair elections in the district. She also informed that the flying squads and static surveillance teams formed by the district administration for keeping strict vigil for adhering to the Model Code of Conduct and also necessary steps have been initiated by the law enforcement agencies to check the flow of cash. Deka further mentioned that wide publicity has been given so that all election laws are strictly adhered to with matters related to advertisements on the intermediaries/social media platforms and also scanning for any cases of paid news by the media certification & monitoring committee formed at the district level for handling the violation of related cases.
Moreover, Varnali Deka said that work for the elections are going as per schedule as three rounds of training programmes of all the polling personnel besides on EVMs and VVPATs have been already conducted and also a slew of activities undertaken including sensitisation and training of persons with disabilities (PWDs) under SVEEP to encourage all the citizens to participate and cast their votes in the ensuing general elections.
Out of 946 polling stations, 63 have been identified as critical while three have been marked as vulnerable polling stations. There will be one all woman polling station with women polling officers and security personnel in each LAC. There will also be three model polling stations in each LAC. In addition, there will be one polling station for People With Disabilities (PWDs), Deka further added.