UP CEO pulls all stops to ensure free and fair polls

Lucknow:  Uttar Pradesh  celebrates the biggest festival of democracy, General Elections 2024. It is going to start with the first phase on Friday 19th April. In the first phase, voting will be held on 8 Lok Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh on Friday. On this occasion, Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh  Navdeep Rinwa has appealed to the voters of all these 8 Lok Sabha seats to come out and vote in maximum numbers. It is noteworthy that the 8 Lok Sabha constituencies where elections are going to be held in the first phase in Uttar Pradesh include Bijnor, Moradabad, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Nagina, Saharanpur, Rampur and Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituencies which are included in 9 districts of the state.

Chief Electoral Officer, Uttar Pradesh  Navdeep Rinwa said that in the first phase, voting in all these 8 Lok Sabha constituencies will start from 7 am to 6 pm. Voters will be present at the polling place at 6 pm and will be given the opportunity to exercise their franchise. He said that a total of 80 candidates are in the fray in these constituencies, out of which 7 are women candidates.

Maximum 14 candidates are in the fray from Kairana Lok Sabha constituency, while the least 6-6 candidates are in the fray from Nagina and Rampur Lok Sabha constituencies. He informed that in the first phase, a total of 14,845 polling booths and 7693 polling stations have been created. Of these, 3571 are critical. There are 111 model polling places, 45 women managed polling places, 36 youth worker polling places and 32 all disabled managed polling places.

Extensive arrangements and security arrangements have been ensured by the Election Commission of India for fair and peaceful elections. The Commission has also deployed 4 general observers, 5 police observers and 10 expenditure observers to keep vigil on voting. Apart from this, 1272 Sector Magistrates, 150 Zonal Magistrates, 103 Static Magistrates and 1861 Micro Observers have also been deployed.

Adequate amount of paramilitary forces have been deployed to conduct the elections peacefully. The responsibility of security of the strong room has also been given to paramilitary forces. Arrangements have also been made for paramilitary forces/police forces to provide air ambulance and helicopter for medical assistance in case of emergency. The location of the helicopter will be in Moradabad on 18th and 19th April and the location of the air ambulance will be in Bareilly on 19th April.

He said that 4083 heavy vehicles, 5058 light vehicles and 65380 polling personnel have been deployed to conduct the election process. 18662 EVM control units, 18734 ballot units and 19603 VVPATs have been prepared for voting in the elections. Live webcasting has been arranged at 50 percent polling places (7582 polling places), which will be supervised at all three levels by District Election Officer, Chief Electoral Officer and Election Commission of India. Apart from this, arrangements for videography have also been made at 1510 polling places. He said that the Voter Information Slip has been distributed to the voters by the Election Commission of India through the District Election Officer, through which they will be able to know about their current polling place and serial number. In the first phase, voter slips have been distributed to a total of 1,42,96,852 (99.27 percent) voters. Voter guide has also been distributed for the convenience of voters. 28,44,953 voter guides have been distributed in the districts of the first phase. Apart from this, voters can also get information about their polling place through the Voter Helpline App and the website of the Election Commission of India.

Navdeep Rinwa said that a total of 11,79,051 voter photo identity cards have been distributed in the districts of the first phase from 27 October 2023 to 16 April 2024. During the voting period, all BLOs have been instructed to remain present at the helpdesk with the alphabetical locator voter list and assist the coming voters. For physically handicapped (PWD) voters, arrangements have been made for wheel chairs at polling stations and volunteers at various places.

In accordance with the instructions of the Election Commission of India, in addition to the voter photo identity card, 12 other identity cards (Aadhaar card, MNREGA job card, passbook with photo issued by banks / post offices, health insurance smart card issued under the scheme of the Ministry of Labor, driving license) , PAN Card, Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, Indian Passport, Pension documents with photo, Service Identity Card with photo issued by Central / State Government / PSU / Public Limited Companies to their employees, MPs / MLAs / Legislators Government identity cards and Unique Disability ID (UDID) cards issued by the Council members (Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India) will be valid for identification of voters at the polling place.

Information about voting percentage will be released every 2 hours. Apart from this, it will also be available on Voter Turnout App and social media handles of Chief Electoral Officer, Uttar Pradesh. Any complaint related to voting can be lodged by calling 18001801950. Apart from this, complaints can also be lodged on C-VIGIL, NGSP/VHA. In the first phase, a total of 448 complaints have been registered on C-VIGIL from 16 March 2024 to 18 April 2024. Of those, 264 complaints were found true and 184

The complaints have been found to be false. Out of total 264 genuine complaints, 233 complaints have been resolved within the stipulated time period of 100 minutes. As of now, the average time for disposal of complaints in the entire state is 41 minutes, which is less than the prescribed time period of 100 minutes. He said that in the first phase from March 16, 2024 to April 17, 2024, liquor, cash and drugs etc. worth Rs 9 crore 72 lakh have been seized.

He said that registered voters of 85+ years and disabled voters have been provided the option to vote from the comfort of their homes. Among the 85+ and Divyang voters who decide to come to the polling stations, they will be provided with facilities like pick and drop facility, signage, Braille signage on EVMs, volunteers etc. Disabled voters can also book wheelchair facility through ECI enabled app. Apart from this, assured minimum facilities like water, shed, toilets will also be available.

He appealed to voters to desist from misinformation and fake news to influence or deter them from participating in these elections, especially false narratives being spread on social media. All queries, clarifications and misconceptions of voters are clarified in the Commission’s Myth vs Reality Register which can be accessed at this link. Can be viewed through https://mythvsreality.eci.gov.in/. He requested voters to verify any election-related content before sharing it.


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