Arrangements in place to ensure transparent elections: SEC Sharma

The State Election Commissioner, Jammu and Kashmir, K.K Sharma today said that all advanced arrangements were being put in place to ensure transparent, safe and secure conduct of the first District Development Council elections, ULB and panchayat by-elections in the Union Territory.

These remarks were made by the State Election Commissioner while chairing a meeting held to review law and order situation and security arrangements for ensuing polls being held between November 28 to December 19.

The meeting, among others, was attended by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole and IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar.

The SEC said that all advanced arrangements are being put in place to ensure conduct of transparent polls in free and fair manner across the UT. Moreover, he said that the goal of the SEC is to ensure safe elections are held.

He said that adequate security arrangements shall be provided to all participating candidates whether party based or as independent including star campaigners besides all other facilities to ensure them comfortable campaigning in their respective areas.

He said that there has been an enthusiastic atmosphere prevailing in Kashmir as encouraging nominations particularly youth participants are coming forward to participate in these elections for promotion of democracy.

SEC said the DDC polls which are being held for the first time in the UT are important and shall ensure district level leadership to the people and give a boost to the developmental process in all districts.

Besides discussing law and order and security arrangements, heli services to far flung areas of Kupwara, Bandipora and other districts were also discussed during the meeting.

He said that special arrangements of postal ballots are being made for various categories of people which included senior citizens and COVID-19 positive to remain in isolation and others to ensure everyone who can’t turn up to the polling booth is given the opportunity to exercise his/ her right to franchise.

SEC said that besides party based candidates, a large number of candidates have filed their nominations as independent candidates.

He said that 165 additional police force companies have been brought from outside J&K to ensure adequate security arrangements for all participating candidates.

Sharma appealed to people to follow all Covid related SOPs including use of face mask and hand sanitizers while participating in the election process. He also asked concerned officers and officials to ensure availability of face masks and hand sanitizers at all polling booths during the voting process to ensure containment of Covid-19.